Pancakes for the road

When the kids were little, we belonged to a church that had a wonderful Shrove Tuesday tradition. Everyone gathered in the fellowship hall that evening, bringing with them electric frying pans, home-made applesauce, and any food they were giving up for Lent. We ate the snack-type foods while preparing supper together, and everything else was either eaten during the meal or taken home by someone who wasn’t giving it up.


Catsup not pictured (for the more delicate of stomach)

It began with the peeling crew, who started in on several dozen pounds of potatoes. Kids carried peeled potatoes into the kitchen to be shredded, mixed with eggs and flour, and pressed into pans of hot oil. As soon as the first batch was draining on paper towels, the applesauce and sour cream (and catsup for the kids) went out on the tables and the feasting began. The peelers ate first and rotated into the kitchen so the shredders, mixers, and fry cooks could eat.

It was a small congregation and nearly everyone turned out for this festive occasion. The kitchen and fellowship hall formed a kind of great room, so conversation flowed back and forth between those who were cooking and those who were eating. As people finished eating, they filtered back into the kitchen to clean up. It was like a big family dinner where everyone shares the work as well as the meal.

We all went home with hearts and bellies full, fortified in both body and soul for the long Lenten journey we would begin, together again, the following evening.

May your Shrove Tuesday be replete with good food and warm fellowship, regardless of your religious inclinations.

(This post is offered in thanksgiving for the congregation of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Hamden CT, saints both past and present with whom we gladly lift our forks today.)


2 responses to “Pancakes for the road

  1. I went out with friends (Jen, escapees from IU linguistics!) had a nice glass of hoppy citrusy beer (delish!) and a muffaletta sandwich with red beans and rice. But your celebration sounds like so much fun! And sinfully delicious!

    • What’s a muffaletta sandwich? I’m so glad you spent the evening with good food and good company! We weren’t able to make potato pancakes because of confirmation class, but we did eat dinner at IHOP. No potato pancakes, but just about every other kind of pancake you can imagine, plus really good hash browns. We decided it was a reasonably festive (and sinful) substitute.

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