Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's Pancake Tuesday!

Today is one of my children’s favorite days of the year. No, we don’t celebrate Christmas in February!

At our house, today is Pancake Tuesday!

Pancake Tuesday is our family’s version of Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. We celebrate it once a year, on the day before Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, the day before Ash Wednesday was a time to use up all rich ingredients like eggs, butter, milk and cream. Pancake recipes call for all these items, so they became a standard meal item on Fat Tuesday.

Although my family eats pancakes on other days of the year, this day becomes special because we take our flapjacks to a whole new level. On this one day of the year, I allow my children to embellish their pancakes with any topping(s) that their heart desires. The table is set with not only with the usual butter and maple syrup, but also fruit syrups (apricot and boysenberry this year), peanut butter, Nutella (a hazelnut/chocolate spread), chocolate chips, fresh cut-up fruit (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, bananas), and of course, whipped cream.

During supper, we have a contest to see who can create the most appealing, tastiest pancake creation. The winner is crowned “the world’s best pancake chef” and gets to wear a silly pancake hat. (It’s a French beret decorated with a photo of a pancake.) Their name is also listed on a framed certificate (made on my computer), which notes each year’s pancake contest winner.

We decorate our table in the Mardi Gras colors of green, gold and purple. We use paper plates, cups and napkins to keep clean-up easy, too.

Some of the other things we might do include:

1.Sing Pancake Songs
Check out this website for some lyrics: http://www.mamalisa.com/blog/category/holiday-songs/pancake-day-songs/

2. Color pancake themed coloring sheets

3. Do a pancake word find

4. Play a pancake themed game like Flip the Pancake

Finally, before bedtime, we will read a pancake themed book. If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff is my daughter’s favorite book, but you could also read Tomie dePaola’s Pancakes for Breakfast, Eric Carle’s Pancakes, Pancakes or Mairi Mackinnon’s The Runaway Pancake.

You can find all of these books on Amazon.com. Here are some links to them:

To get you in a "pancake mood," check out some of the silly “pancake” themed videos on YouTube. Here is one of my favorites:


Have a happy Pancake Tuesday!