Pancake Day? An Ask the Audience

Heather says:

Lent will soon be here, for those who aren’t familiar with the custom, it’s a period of fasting and abstinence (from meat) that leads up to the celebration of Easter.  Many of you are familiar with Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, this celebration ends when Lent begins. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a certain pancake-focused chain celebrates Pancake Day which coincides with Fat Tuesday. Interestingly, it seems that Pancake Day actually got its start with the Orthodox Church whose dietary requirements for the Lenten fast are more rigid. Pancakes are an excellent, yet simple way to use up dairy products that could otherwise go to waste during their fast.

Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

When is the last time you made pancakes?

We don’t go out to eat much, with several young children the experience is always more pain than pleasure and that’s even before the bill arrives. We began celebrating pancake day at home as it is a fun excuse to have breakfast for dinner.

Do you celebrate Pancake Day or  do you consider it just another one of those eye-roll inducing gimmicks?


  1. CG Jenny on February 18, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Here is my actual recipe:
    *Jenny's Pancakes*
    makes about 35 4" cakes

    4 c. flour
    3/4 c. sugar
    4 tsp. baking powder
    2 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. salt

    3/4 c. oil
    4 eggs
    4 c. buttermilk or kefir or yoghurt (thinned with water)

    (you can make buttermilk substitute by putting a tablespoon of vinegar in a measuring cup and filling to the 4 cup mark, let sit for 3-4 min. I make and use my own kefir or yoghurt)

    I dump my "kit" in the mixer, add the wet ingredients (I don't bother mixing these ahead but you can do that in another bowl if you like) and mix until pretty well combined but I don't worry about small lumps. I use a ladle to portion out the batter; 4" pancakes fit well in a toaster so that is the size we make so left-overs will be convenient.

    Cool any leftovers on a cooling rack. If you are freezing, just put the whole rack in the freezer. When they are individually frozen, you can stack them up and put them in a plastic bag; now they won't stick together and you can take out just how many you need. If you are just refrigerating, you can just stack and bag.

  2. CG Jenny on February 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    We have pancakes every Thursday and Saturday. I can make enough to stuff my 2 teen boys, 2 20-something men, Hub and I for $1.75. That includes butter and homemade pancake syrup. If there are any left-overs, we put them in the fridge for toaster snacks on other days.

    For those of you using a pancake mix, let me encourage you to try making them from scratch. It is really very easy and so much tastier, not to mention 1/4 the price.

    I even make my own pancake "kits" where I measure all the dry ingredients into a quart zipper bag, label the outside with "add 3 eggs, 3 c. buttermilk, 1/2 c. oil" I make about 10 of these at a time and it makes throwing together breakfast very quick. You could have the kids do the measuring for you and making up the bags.

  3. Adam on February 16, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I Love Pancake day! I Think mostly because it is the only thing I can make better than my wife 🙂 I was looking for a new recipe for this year so glad I came across LinnaeP's post…. it sounds wonderful.

  4. kari on February 16, 2010 at 1:28 am

    It was funny to see the phrase "pancake day" because that it what my 2 year old calls Saturdays. After the boy begged for them (for every meal, everyday) for several weeks, we started the tradition of having them every Saturday, so we could tell him when it would be pancake day. It began as a bit of a nuisance, but after 6 months of this tradition, I could make the pancakes in my sleep, and he loves to help mix all the ingredients together, and he even knows where to find most of them in the cupboards and can get everything out. I used to dread making them, but now I'm thankful and I plan to continue the tradition.

  5. Angie @ M.L.B. on February 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Having been a cradle Episcopalian (as someone else mentioned they were too), Shrove Tuesday meant we were going to a pancake dinner at church. Then, when we converted to Catholicism, although we do more for Lenten observances, we don't do a pancake dinner at church. (Just as well — every time I think of going to the pancake dinners at my old church, it makes me think of that I ended up in the ER the time I was pregnant with my first son and was horribly, horribly sick. Couldn't eat a pancake for years. LOL)
    My recent post 7 Quick Takes: February 12, 2010 (Vol. 29)

  6. Kathy on February 15, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I'm having people over for pancakes tomorrow. It was a spur of the moment decision, but, like you said, a great excuse for breakfast for dinner!
    My recent post Problem solving at our house

  7. LinnaeP on February 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    My kids love having a pancake dinner. We use my great grandmother, Edla Olava Olson Johanson's recipe, REAL swedish pancakes from a real swede!
    1C sour cream
    1C cottage cheese
    1C flour
    1C milk
    5 eggs
    be sure to butter the pan well! and Enjoy- my 16 year old has been known to eat 12 or more so I double the recipe.

    • Heather Solos on February 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

      Thanks Linnae, I'm going to give this a shot sometime. Do you use small curd cottage cheese? I'm trying to envision these, but I'm having a mental hangup about lumps of cheese.

      • LinnaeP on February 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm

        Between mixing it up and the melting the occurs in cooking, there is not alot of lumps. Let me know if you like it.

  8. Caryn Verell on February 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    when my son was about three years old, he was not a picky eater but had his favorites. he graduated from oatmeal, to hotdogs, had his phase with spagetti-o’s….but has always deemed pancakes and waffles as being a favorite meal of his. i cook pancakes (or waffles) by the dozens all at one time and freeze them. this made cooking time fun, and we could have pancakes or waffles pretty much anytime we wanted.

  9. Phillip Guyton Jr. on February 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    every sat should be pancake day as far as i am concerned!

  10. Heather Solos on February 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I just have to note that I completely forgot I had set this rough draft to publish yesterday. Our power was knocked out during a freak snowstorm Friday night. I had intended to make it more in depth. Ah well.

  11. tinkerschnitzel on February 14, 2010 at 3:48 am

    I'm a Presbyterian and we do the Shrove Tuesday pancake dinners. Of course, we've been snowed in here, so I don't know if we'll make it to church or not, but we'll definately be having pancakes!

    • Heather Solos on February 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm

      I know our snow as piddly compared to yours. While I'm a homebody at heart, if you tell me I must stay home, my inner rebellion lashes out and I start climbing the walls.

  12. @geegeegee on February 14, 2010 at 2:50 am

    I forgot to mention that the tradition supposedly started to use up all the dairy, AND sugar, AND flour from your pantry before the austerity of Lent. This is a great idea, since we've had a hard time getting back to our particular diet – which eschews all three of those. Maybe Lent will be just the kick in the pants we need, LOL.

    • Heather Solos on February 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      Even when I wasn't practicing, I usually observed Lent in some fashion. I don't condone a life of deprivation, but once in a while, I believe it helps us appreciate the gifts we have.

  13. Frogdancer on February 13, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    We have pancakes every weekend when the boys are with me. (They alternate weekends between their father's place and mine.)

    It's one of those little traditions that help bind a family together.
    My recent post The Knitting Olympics saga. (And it hasn’t even begun yet.)

    • Heather Solos on February 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm

      Truly I believe those little traditions hold tremendous value. In our home we have movie night and pizza night. We're some of those mean parents who avoid tv, but every Friday night they get to watch a movie and have popcorn. It's a big deal for them and heck they sit still for almost two hours, that's a big deal for us. 😉

      • Stacy on February 14, 2010 at 11:55 pm

        That's a good idea–makes it special. We dole out TV in tiny doses–15-30 minutes or so. My son is totally into watching the cartoon, "Caillou," which is made in very convenient 10-minute segments. We do a cereal-banana-Caillou snuggle every night, or many nights. It sounds corny, but it's pretty nice.

  14. Jenn on February 13, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    We call it Pancake Tuesday and haven't missed it in at least 7 years. I like coming up with lots of little reasons to celebrate. I'll make pancakes and bacon and we'll serve them with apple sauce and syrup. Yum!

  15. ThatBobbieGirl on February 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Here it's called Fastnacht Day and all the stores sell these fat doughnuts by the dozen. When we lived in Michigan, it was Paczki Day – and I think they were a donut with some kind of fruit filling. I'm thinking that Pancake Day is the southern version? Seems like it's mostly southerners that I hear/see call it that.

    Our family doesn't celebrate the day, as we don't practice Lent. I do, however, appreciate the good deals on seafood during that time.

    I do like making breakfast for dinner sometimes, but usually it involves eggs – I don't do well on high carbs, especially in the evening.
    My recent post In a People House

  16. Keter Magick on February 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I do breakfast for dinner at least once a month. I don't think I've ever done a "pancake day" per se, but do make dinner pancakes, such as potato pancakes or spicy, not sweet pancakes with cheese or onion or other unusual ingredients. And I make several varieties of pancakes for breakfasts, too.

    • Heather Solos on February 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

      In all honesty, I don't think I've ever had a savory pancake or even a latke. How? I don't know, it's just never come up. I will rectify this. I now consider it a mission.

    • Heather Solos on February 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

      In all honesty, I don't think I've ever had a savory pancake or even a latke. How? I don't know, it's just never come up. I will rectify this. I now consider it a mission.

  17. Stacy on February 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    We're really non-denominational, and I have never even heard of the pancake celebration. However, we do like pancakes! And we do make them for dinner from time to time. I have a banana-oatmeal pancake recipe I really like.

    • Heather Solos on February 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks, Stacy for sharing the recipe. I'll be posting it on Tuesday.

  18. @geegeegee on February 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Yep – I'm a "Cradle" Episcopalian (meaning, from birth) and we do Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) Pancake Supper every year. A couple of years ago we started a Saturday before Shrove Tuesday "Mardi Gras" party with gumbo and bread pudding and masks and beads, and all that good stuff. But we also still do our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. I don't do well on carbs at any time of day, especially not refined flour/Bisquick, but I'll go and help cook. The Men's Group cooks up sourdough waffles, and last year it didn't occur to them that people would want butter on their waffles! Silly Men! 😉 This year they asked us to provide our Kerrygold butter for the dinner, since I fussed at them so much last year, LOL!

    • Heather Solos on February 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm

      Sourdough waffles sounds amazing. In my world, gumbo = love, in a bowl served over rice. I balance the pancakes out with eggs and bacon or sausage. Then we're too full to create any trouble.

  19. @Soire on February 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    We do pancakes or waffles or crepes for dinner once every couple of months. It's nice to switch it up and have breakfast for dinner. It's a cost effective meatless meal!

  20. Meg Evans on February 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Shrove Tuesday, as the day before Ash Wednesday is called, is a traditional time for pancake suppers. It's pretty widely done in the Episcopal Church here in the states. I just joined the Lutheran church after a lifetime as an episcopalian, and I am nostalgic for the pancake supper! We may have some at home on Tuesday night–the kids always love breakfast for dinner.

  21. @notdiyheather on February 13, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Our church had a fundraising pancake breakfast last week and will have a Mardi Gras celebration on Tuesday. I do love pancakes but have not made them in the longest time. I don't have a griddle, just a frying pan with sloped sides. So I either have to make one pancake at a time or they get a bit curved. Not perfect, but I guess that fits with the season of Lent, doesn't it?
    My recent post Homemade Valentines

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