The Everyday Lore Project

25 February 2020 – Shrove Tuesday

25 February 2020 – Shrove Tuesday

Today I went a little rogue. Yes I know it’s Pancake Day also known as Shrove Tuesday also known as Brose Tuesday also known as Bannock Nicht also known as St Ethelbert’s Day also known as St Walburga’s Day, but I’d had enough of eggs and my stomach rebelled at the thought of eating any more. So I ditched all that crepe, and went and made masala dosa, stociously good Southern Indian vegan pancakes, instead. And not even proper dosa either as I used a mixture of gram flour and self-raising flour as I didn’t have any bicarb or urad dal. Or patience and time as I had things to do today. Like run this Twitter poll:

No huge surprises over the winner, but you should check out some of the other rather tasty suggestions going on in the replies. So if you’ve not chowed down yet, there’s still time for some last minute inspiration.

Anyway back to my pancakes, I made the batter this morning as my many run-ins with gram flour have all benefited from some resting time. The sabzi filling I made this evening, substituting spuds for celeriac and adding carrots and peas. Frying the pancakes was slightly discombobulating as you don’t flip them, you let the underside get crispy then remove them from the pan when the top is dry. When I order this is restaurants, I love that the dosa is usually a foot long with an impressive girth, mine in comparison were pretty average, but then I do have a small frying pan. 

I ate two, and the leftover filling, and the scraps that fell out of the ends of the other ones, which will be breakfast for the next couple of days, if they survive that long…

I do know that I was being particularly lazy today going for the easy folklore pancake option and not even running around the kitchen trying to flip them, but I’m just too knackered at the moment for a traditional game of Shrovetide football, or skipping, or haggling with fishermen for ropes, or being cruel to birds with a spot of cock-fighting, cock-throwing or cock-squailing, although next year I might be persuaded to do some rattling or jiggling. Rattling was gambling with dice for oranges and nuts, and jiggling was what you had to do when taking part in competitive egg-shackling, you jiggled a raw egg through a sieve and the winning egg was the last egg to remain whole. And here we are, back to eggs. Again.


Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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