Shrove Tuesday Traditions
Pancake Recipes

Christ Episcopal Church
Home of The Best Anglican Pancakes
7305 Afton Road
Woodbury, Minnesota

compiled and written by John C. Hunkins, Sr
December 29, 2000
Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1170

The Recipes
Variations on a

AOL Responses
Pancake Races

Some years back, to promote our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at Christ Church, I proclaimed the recipe we use to be The Best Episcopal Pancakes in Minnesota. After a few years of that I thought "Why just Minnesota?, Why not world domination?", thus The Best Anglican Pancakes. Who is there to say I can't do that!: The Archbishop of Canterbury; so far Archbishop George has not taken me to task. 2000 is the 150th Anniversary of Christ Church. I thought it would be appropriate to gather pancake recipes and Shrove Tuesday traditions from throughout the Anglican Communion, hold a pancake bakeoff with the ‘judging of the pancakes', and to publish this booklet with recipes, traditions, and tidbits of lore.

I am writing this booklet for folks in 2000, and for the folks in 2050 who open Christ Church's 2000 Time Capsule. To you in 2000 and the next few years, I encourage you to try some of the recipes, experiment with them, and may you find a favorite. Enjoy the traditions and stories that folks have shared with us. If you have a Shrove Tuesday tradition or story, or a pancake recipe, please send it in; I hope to receive more information for a revised edition.

To you in 2050: What are your Shrove Tuesday traditions? How do your Shrove Tuesday traditions differ with the Shrove Tuesday traditions described here? How are they alike? How do your pancakes compare with the recipes here? I encourage you to try some of these recipes, maybe you too will find a favorite here.

I sought to gather traditions and recipes from a variety of sources. I was able to get requests published in Soundings (the monthly newspaper of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota), Episcopal Life (the monthly newspaper of the Episcopal Church in the USA), and on Anglicans Online ( I also placed requests for information on EpiscoTalk ( and on the Episcopal bulletin board on America OnLine (AOL) In response to my requests, I received recipes, stories, and tidbits from many states, Argentina, and Australia. I also searched the Internet for information concerning Shrove Tuesday. I believe I have something from every continent except Asia and Antarctica. If I have misquoted anyone, made errors or omissions, or my writing is not clear, please let me know. I plan to publish a revision with such corrections and any new material that folks send me. John C. Hunkins, Sr ( ) December 29, 2000

[top of page]


It would be best to begin with an understanding of Shrove Tuesday and its traditions. I found the following on the web page of St Anne's, Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, NC (

Shrove Tuesday

"The Tuesday before the beginning of Lent is Shrove Tuesday. ‘Shrove' is from the verb, ‘to shrive,' or to hear someone's sins and to assure him of God's forgiveness. Today, we've heard of giving someone ‘short shrift,' paying little attention to his excuses or problems. Shrove Tuesday is also called Mardi Gras (in French: Mardi =Tuesday, Gras = fat). On the day before Lent, one uses up all the fat one won't use during Lent (a form of self-denial)—and a good way to do it is to make Pancakes! Saint Anne's has an annual Pancake Supper on Shrove Tuesday.


The day before the beginning of Lent is known as Shrove Tuesday. To shrive someone, in old-fashioned English (he shrives, he shrove, he has shriven or he shrives, he shrived, he has shrived), is to hear his acknowledgement of his sins, to assure him of God's forgiveness, and to give him appropriate spiritual advice. The term survives today in ordinary usage in the expression ‘short shrift'. To give someone short shrift is to pay very little attention to his excuses or problems. The longer expression is, ‘to give him short shrift and a long rope', which formerly meant to hang a criminal with a minimum of delay. On Shrove Tuesday, many Christians make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with. Often they consult on these matters with a spiritual counselor, or receive shrift.

Prayer in Contemporary Language
Mercifully hear our prayers, O Lord, and spare all those who confess their sins unto you; that they, whose consciences by sin are accused, by your merciful pardon may be absolved; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 [top of page]

Shrove Tuesday is also called Fat Tuesday (in French, Mardi=Tuesday;gras=fat, as in ‘pate de foie gras', which is liver paste and very fatty), because on that day a thrifty housewife uses up the fats that she has kept around (the can of bacon drippings, or whatever) for cooking, but that she will not be using during Lent. Since pancakes are a standard way of using up fat, the day is also called Pancake Tuesday. In England, and perhaps else-where, the day is celebrated with pancake races. The contestants run a course while holding a pan and flipping a pancake. Points are awarded for time, for number and height of flips, and number of times the pancake turns over. There are of course penalties for dropping the pancake. "The oldest recorder pancake race, with a continuous history, is that at Olney in Buckinghamshire, which has been run every year since 1445. Competitors must be women over of 16 years and over. They wear the traditional costumeof a housewife, including apron and headcovering. The race has become international, and is now run in competition with the town of Liberal in Kansas" (Information from British Folklore, Myths and Legends by Marc Alexander)

Let's Begin with a Mix

Quite a few responses concerning recipes went like ‘we buy pancake mix from Sam's Club, add water, and stir'.Now in my hype for our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Suppers, I have shown disdain of pancake mixes. (My bias against box mix pancakes has been ‘you put butter and maple syrup on the pancakes, and they turn to mush'.) Keeping in the spirit of pancake mix traditions, I wanted to include a pancake mix in our bakeoff. The following response caught my attention with the separating the whites and yolks of eggs(separating the whites and yolks was one of the tips or preferences I had heard about but had never tried until now).

Bruce J. Shaw, the Parish Clerk of St. John the Evangelist in Newport, RI, wrote: "I don't know how much help this recipe is, but our Senior Warden, James Robinson, uses an ordinary restaurant water-based mix with the following changes: He separates the egg whites and whips them until smooth, and then adds the egg whites, the yolks, and a half milk -half light cream mixture instead of water. We have no particular traditions, except that the Vestry does all the cooking on Shrove Tuesday." In our bakeoff, we mixed up a batch using Krusteaz Pancake Mix from Sam's Club, a quart of milk, and two eggs with the whites and yolks separated and slightly beaten. The recipe did quite well with our judges (and the pancakes did not turn to mush).


If you are holding a Pancake Supper for a fund raiser, you will definitely want to use a pancake mix to reduce costs. Consider adding milk instead of water, and some eggs, with the whites and yolks separated and beaten until smooth.


Smiley Burnette's Buttermilk Pancakes

Helen Driscoll of Holy Trinity, Sunnyside, Washington, sent this recipe of Smiley Burnette's. Helen wrote "This is a tried and true, and really delicious! Best of Luck!

2 Cup Flour
2 Cup Buttermilk
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Egg

Mix in blender (if too thick, add more buttermilk); pour into container and refrigerate overnight. In morning pour small spoonfuls onto hot griddle and cook until edges are lacy. Turn once.

........ from Gladys Taber

I wrote Helen thanking her for the recipe and inquired about the history of the recipe and her Shrove Tuesday traditions. From my memories of childhood movies, I recalled that Smiley Burnette was a sidekick of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry in the Westerns of the 40s and 50s; the Gladys Taber tag piqued my curiosity. Helen replied: "I am glad you found the Buttermilk Pancake recipe interesting. I can't supply any more information than you already have about Smiley Burnette (think he was a bit before our time) except that he made cowboy movies and was always the Good Guy!

Re Gladys Taber: I can do somewhat better, as my grandmother was a member of the Christian Herald Book Club many years ago, and some of the Taber books camedown to me. Gladys Taber was a prolific writer during the 1940s and 50s, and numbered among her friends many of the famous of that era. When Gladys and her sister became widows, together they bought an ancient house in Connecticut which they christened Stillmeadow and Gladys wrote a book chronicling the experiences of two women coping with the problems of a house of that vintage. In addition to the house problems, raising cocker spaniels, teaching Professional Short Story Writing at Columbia University and writing stories (besides her books, of which she wrote many) for the Ladies Home Journal and other magazines, her hobby was cooking and she frequently included a recipe in a book or article. The Smiley Burnette and an Oyster Stew recipe were both gleaned from her books and have been used for years. I own but two of her books, but many years ago they were available at the public library, and I think I read them all. her writing was high class home-spun, and invariably humorous and interesting. With regard to Shrove Tuesday, I am not sure that we have a ‘tradition' except that instead of pancakes, we have waffles, creamed chicken and applesauce. For years we have had an ECW member who made creamed chicken (with wine) that was out of this world, and everyone demanded a repeat each year: thus it became a tradition.The best of luck with your Pancake Festival - if St. Paul weren't so far away I would love to attend!"

Peggy's Pancakes

Gwendoline Gliha, a member of St.Luke's Episcopal Church in Chardon, Ohio, responded: "I read in our church paper that you were asking for recipes, here is mine.

1 Cup Milk,
1 Cup Flour,
1 Egg,
3 Tablespoons Vegetable. Oil,
2 Teaspoons. Baking Powder
and a dash of salt.

This recipe was from my daughter Peggy's home ec class when she was in grade school. I lost her four years. ago today after a liver transplant; she was 45. My other two daughters and my son also use this recipe. Now my grandchildren are asking for this tried and true recipe.

You can use buttermilk instead of whole milk and you can double the recipe but do not try to triple it because of the Baking Powder. You can also add blueberries for blueberry pancakes, or bananas or other fruit. Hope you like this and use it often.

God Bless,

Gwendoline Gliha"

Gwendoline added that she is the treasurer of the ECW, that they just started up their group in December 1999 and in one year raised $21,000 for a new kitchen in the church. That sure sounds like a hard working group!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Christa Amend of St Thomas' Episcopal Church is Christiansburg, Virginia, wrote:

"Greetings from St Thomas'! Here is a pancake recipe that we used for our annual parish overnight this past September The pancakes were yummy and got great reviews, definitely not your average pancakes."

2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Packed Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1-3/4 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup Pumpkin
1 Egg
2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Mix dry ingredients together. Then mix wet ingredients.
Add wets to dry and stir just ‘til moistened; batter may be lumpy.
Lightly grease griddle; use 1/4 Cup mixture for each pancake.
Top with Maple Syrup and Chopped Nuts"

In response to my letter offering thanks for the recipe and asking about the story behind it, Christa wrote: "How could I pass up sending the story behind our pancakes after receiving such a nice letter. We at St Thomas love to share a little about ourselves. We are a small (158 communicants in 1998), friendly church and delight in sharing with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper is done by the men of the parish. They bring the food to church, cook it, serve it, and clean up! They have been doing the pancake supper for as long as anyone can remember and proceeds typically go to the Rector's Discretionary Fund. It is always a well-attended event and we all look forward to it. Our Annual Parish Overnight is typically in September or October. Prior to 1998 we let the retreat center staff provide our meals. Without a rector in ‘98 (we were in the search process) we did things differently– we provided all of our own meals. Keeping in mind that the men always did the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, it was announced that the men would do breakfast. They did a wonderful job with plain scratch pan-cakes, bacon, and sausage. They did such a great job that they were assigned that job again in ‘99. By the time we were planning the ‘99 overnight we had a new rector. He looked at the proposed schedule of events and changed the ‘men' under the ‘provide breakfast column' to ‘persons' He was promptly informed that it was ‘men' and was staying ‘men'! The men came through again! In addition to plain pancakes they made the pumpkin pancakes which were a big hit. Many of us at St Thomas look forward to our twice yearly meals provided by our men! Well, that's our story. We very much look forward to receiving a copy of your booklet.
For His Sake, Christa Amend"


Virginia Stephenson, a member of Grace Episcopal Church, Ponca City, OK. sent in her recipe for hotcakes which her friends claim to be ‘The Best':

2 Cup Flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
2 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Oil

The Best Anglican Pancakes

This is the recipe I have proclaimed as ‘The Best Anglican Pancakes'. It is a recipe I received from a coworker in the 1980s. She thought came from a church cookbook from ‘up north'. (‘Up north' is Minnesota talk for anywhere north of Lake Woebegone. In the bakeoff, the judges commented that the taste of baking soda was excessive, thus I have reduced the amount of baking boda. The recipe was printed in The Christ Church Cookbook (1993), and Eleanor Ostman's Always on Sundays (1999).

The amount of baking soda in those two books is the correct, reduced amount. I have always received favor-able comments (except from the judges in the bakeoff) but then again that is what all our contributors have said.

1 Quart Buttermilk
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
6 Eggs
4 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Package Dry Yeast
1/4 cup Cooking Oil

-- Add the Baking Soda to the Buttermilk; Beat to a froth and set aside. (Mixing the buttermilk and baking soda is the secret to the success of the recipe. You have been warned.)
-- Beat the Eggs to a froth and set aside. Alternate method: Separate the whites and yolks and beat each until smooth
-- Mix together the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and dry yeast.
-- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the Buttermilk-Baking Soda, and mix well. (This will require a really heavy duty mixer.)
-- Add the beaten eggs (or separated whites and yolks each separately) to the mixture, and mix well.
-- Finally, add the cooking oil to the mixture, and mix well.

Notes and Tips:

• Stir well before using.

• If mixture is too thick, you may thin with milk or cream.

• Mixture will keep for three weeks under refrigeration. If batter was made the day before or earlier, you may wish to add some Baking Powder to ‘freshen it up'.

• My preference for flour is a white unbleached flour.

• For a variation, substitute one cup of flour with a cup of whole wheat flour.

• Two batches for Eight fit nicely in a 5-Quart Ice Cream bucket.

• The Eight are probably eight lumberjacks.

 Eleanor Ostman of the St Paul Pioneer Press included this recipe in her book, Always On Sundays, of tested recipes from 30 years of her Sunday columns. Eleanor's benediction: "So light you'll need syrup to hold them on your plate." A guest at her lake home described them as "the pancake version of angel-food cake."

Wild Rice Pancakes

The Reverend Cappy Warner ( responded:

"I read in The Living Church about your search for pancake recipes. The absolute best pancakes I have ever had were the wild rice pancakes served at the Minneapolis Club. I can't find my copy of the recipe but if you are interested perhaps the club would be willing to share it with you. As I recall, one ingredient is wild rice flour - not a staple in other parts of the country. I hope you will find the recipe and try it on the recommendation of a priest in the Diocese of KY."

I called the Minneapolis Club and spoke with the Chef, Richard Jallet. He said that currently they do not serve pancakes made with Wild Rice flour (and he had no recollection of such pancakes). They do serve Wild Rice Pancakes made with cooked Wild Rice added to regular Pancake Batter. Chef Jallet recommends boiling the Wild Rice for forty-five minutes, draining it well, and then adding it to the batter. Use a little imagination to make your pancakes a little more flavorable such as by adding golden raisins, cranberries, or bits of apple. Searching the internet, I found the following two recipes for Wild Rice pancakes, adding cooked wild rice to the batter.

Wild Rice Pancakes from the Kitchen of vegiemama

Recipe Ingredients

2 Eggs
1-1/4 Cups Buttermilk
* Teaspoon. Baking Soda
1-1/4 Cups Unbleached White Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Sugar
* Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil or melted Butter or Margarine
1 cup cooked Wild Rice

Recipe Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together Eggs, Buttermilk and Baking Soda.

In a separate bowl, combine Flour, Baking Powder, Sugar and Salt; add to Egg mixture. Stir until just combined.

Whisk in Oil or Butter or Margarine, and Wild Rice.

Pour about 3 Tablespoons of batter for each pancake onto hot griddle.

Cook until pancakes puff and become dry around the edges. Turn and cook other side until golden brown.

Makes12 pancakes; serves 4.

Per Pancake: 286 calories; 10 gm; protein; 12 gm fat; 38 gm carb.; 85 mg. cholesterol; 702 mg sodium; 1 mgfiber.(downloaded from The Tripod Recipe Builder)

Wild Rice Pancakes

From: ‘1993 Fresh Produce and More' - Minnesota Grown Farmer to Consumer Directory from Minnesota Department of Agriculture:

2 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon salt
4 Teaspoons baking powder
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Egg
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1/3 Cup Oil
1 Tablespoon Sour Cream
3/4 Cup Cooked Wild Rice

Mix Flour, Salt, Baking Powder and Sugar. Set aside.
Beat Eggs; add Milk,Oil, SourCream and Wild Rice. Add to dry ingredients. Batter will be lumpy.
Cook on heated griddle.
Alternative: Add 1 cup cooked Wild Rice to your favorite pancake mix.
Makes 12-14 pancakes. Yield: 4 servings

(downloaded from, provided as a free service by Sean Wenzel)

Matzo Meal Pancakes

Margaret Klippert of St Matthew's Episcopal Church in Saginaw, Michigan. Margaret wrote:"I saw your request for pancake recipes in The Anglican Connection and couldn't resist sending you this recipe which I found in Heloise's column many years ago. The are so light and delicious, they almost float off the griddle.

1 Cup Warm Milk
1 Cup Matzo Meal1 Teaspoon Sugar
4 Eggs Separated
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Mix Warm Milk with Matzo Meal and stir; add Egg Yolks, Sugar, and Salt.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold in gently.
Drop by big spoonfuls into hot shortening.
Cook until golden brown; turn over and brown other side."

Anne Curzon of Orlando, Florida sent us this recipe

 German Apple Pancakes

2 Tablespoon Butter
3 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Large Apple, peeled and sliced.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Place Butter in 10-inch Pie Plate. Put in oven to melt.
Beat Eggs well, add Salt, Flour, Milk and Sugar beat well until smooth.
Place Apple slices in Pie Plate and push around to coat with Butter. Pour batter over Apples.
Reduce heat to 350 Degrees and bake until crispy brown on edges - 20 to 25

Serve in wedge pieces with Butter, Syrup, or Confectioner's Sugar, or Cinnamon & Sugar mix 
Featherweight Yogurt Pancakes

Eleanor Twardus of St Thomas' Episcopal Church in Newark, Delaware. Eleanor wrote: "I read about your wanting pancake recipes from other congregations. This project sounds like such fun. Good luck with your Pancake Festival!

2 Cup Flour
2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup (8 oz) Plain Yogurt
1 to 1-1/4 Cup Milk
2 Eggs Slightly Beaten
1/4 Cup Melted Butter or Margarine

Sift together Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Sugar, and Salt.
In separate bowl, combine Yogurt, Milk, and Eggs. Stir in Butter.
Pour liquids into flour mixture, mixing until dampened.
Pour 1/4 Cup batter on hot greased griddle for each pancake.

Makes 16 pancakes, 4-1/2 inches in diameter."

This recipe was highly rated by the judges in our bakeoff.

Doty Beckwith's Pancakes

Tom Beckwith of Golden, Colorado wrote: "This recipe comes from my father, Doty (William Doty) Beckwith. As a child, I watched him make this recipe many times; it is one of my ancestral memories.

Two Cups cultured Buttermilk
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon melted Butter
Sifted Flour

For waffles: add 1 beaten Egg

Stir the baking soda and baking powder gently into the buttermilk and watch the volume increase. (As a child, this was always the best part of the recipe. It looked like magic. I always wanted my dad to add more because it was so cool, but he explained that the pancakes would taste nasty if we got carried away with the chemistry). Add the melted butter then begin sifting flour into the liquid, stirring always, until the batter has thickened, but is not ‘very' thick. This will take xperimentation and is subject to personal preference. Pour batter on a greased, preheated griddle, turn when bubbles appear on top. This is a great recipe to make happy faces, clowns, and the like with the batter, because it is so thin. Moms will love it. Serve with butter and maple syrup. Don't get fancy with the toppings. These are not sissy pancakes. The secret of this recipe is making a relatively ‘thin' batter. The chemical reactions of the soda and baking powder have already happened; my dad always said they ‘sweetened' the buttermilk;but the batter is not going to rise much on the griddle. These are not fluffy pancake. But they taste great. For waffles: add a beaten egg to the mixture, incorporate well, then add sifted flour to create a thicker batter. Make sure steam is no longer rising from the waffle iron before attempting to open. The egg will hold the waffle together, but the end result will still be delicate and tasty."

Bud's The Very Best Episcopalian Pancakes

This recipe was submitted by Artis and Bud Ferrel, members of St. John's Episcopal Church in Glenwood, IA Artis wrote: "Bud allowed me to send you this; everyone in this area claims he makes the very best Episcopalian Pancakes — I twisted his arm to get this".

2 Cups Bisquick,
1 Cup Buckwheat Flour,
1 Egg,
1 Tablespoon Vanilla,
a dash of Cinnamon,
3/4 Cup Applesauce, and
1/3 cup Oil

Mix good; add water until it is the right consistency to put on the grill (not too thick). Cook in traditional manner for pancakes. (Bubbles on top and then turn.)

Artis and Bud Ferrel" I wrote to Artis and Bud, asking for the history of Bud's recipe. Bud responded: "I remember my grandmother using molasses and cinnamon in her pan-cakes. They were light and fluffy, about ½ inch thick—and they really soaked up the syrup. I like mine much thinner. started using my special recipe at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Council Bluffs. We served pancakes, syrup,sausage, and sliced apples and oranges. We had eight or ten men and their wives who would yearly put on a Shrove Tuesday supper—asking just a free will offering. It was a good fellowship project. (I talked a lady into making me some cook's hats, along with aprons that we wore at Cursillos and we wore the same outfits on Shrove Tuesday.) When our family left St. Paul's, we continued the tradition at St. John's, Glenwood. Everyone seems to look forward to the fun and fellowship each year. The hats seem to add a "jovial" air and make the evening more fun." Artis also added: "Bud really perfected this recipe on his own. He was a city fireman and did a lot of cooking for the crew so I am sure he perfected these pancakes over the years." Bud's recipe did not specify the amount of water to use. In our pancake bakeoff we may not have had the right amount. I gave the leftover batter to a couple and asked them to evaluate the recipe. They reported back that they added some water to the batter, and that Bud's pancakes are very excellent. They fried up all the batter and froze the remaining pancakes in plastic bags. As they wanted pancakes, they took them out of the freezer and heated in a microwave oven. I encourage you to experiment with this recipe; I would appreciate any tips you may learn.

[top of page]


English Shrove Tuesday Traditions

Mary Hill of St James in Hibbing, Minnesota, wrote us in response to our request in Soundings for Shrove Tuesday traditions. "I was born in England, and we seldom ate pancakes other that Shrove Tuesday. My mother made them, so I don't have the recipe, but they were simple. This was the beginning of the Lenten fast. We topped them with fresh squeezed lemon juice and sugar. Pancakes are also known as Flapjacks. Experienced bakers flipped them when they had to be turned and hoped they'd land in the pan. The English girls in the area used to meet on Shrove Tuesday with their friends; syrup was available for them. Crepes are a form of pancakes. I think they have eggs in them and are more delicate. No boxes of food in those days. We even arranged to have them during World War II as the ingredients except for sugar weren't rationed. There used to be a Pancake Race between a town in the USA and one in England." One of the things I should have done before putting this together, was to write Mary and ask for more information. I still plan to do that but it will probably happen when I mail Mary a copy of this booklet. In light of Mary's kind letter, I thought it would be appropriate to include a recipe for British pancakes. My understanding is that British pancakes are similar to what we Yanks would call ‘crepes'. This recipe is from Helen Watson's British Cooking Web Site ( )
Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

Makes 12 pancakes
Plain flour - 100 g (3 oz)
Salt – pinch
Egg – 1
Milk - 300 ml (pint)
Butter - melted, for frying


1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and break in the egg.

2. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the egg, incorporating flour from the edges of the well. Gradually add milk, beating to form a smooth batter.

3. Heat 18 cm (7 inch) non-stick frying pan, lightly brushed with butter. When hot, pour in about 2 tablespoons batter, tilting the pan to coat the base evenly. Cook until the pancake moves freely. Turn or toss and cook until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.


Lemon or lime pancakes - sprinkle with lemon or lime juice and caster sugar.
Orange pancakes - melt 25g (1 oz) butter. Beat in 2 tablespoons marmalade
and 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice. Serve hot as a sauce.

[top of page]

Shrove Tuesday Variations

Pancake are the staple item, although you may recall Holy Trinity's (Sunnyside, Washington) menu of waffles with chicken and wine. Some have abandoned pancakes for jumbalayah and a New Orleans Mardi Grais, and some have combined traditions

The Tradition of Talent

Barbara Tourville, then of Christ Church, Proctor, Minnesota, sent me the following recipe for The Reverend Linda's Pancakes in 1997. That year I attempted a ‘pancake contest' which never came to be due to lack of planning. Barb related that one of the Shrove Tuesday traditions at Christ Church - Proctor, was a ‘talent - untalent show' following the pancake supper. About two years ago, Christ Church - Proctor and Holy Apostles, Duluth, Minnesota, merged to form Trinity Church in Hermantown, Minnesota. This Spring, I wrote Barb inquiring what Shrove Tuesday traditions had sprung forth at Trinity. Barb replied that Trinity has been continuing the Shrove Tuesday tradition started at Christ Church - Proctor by Deacon Kay Studley. "We serve the traditional Shrove Tuesday Pancake dinner from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Following the dinner we retire to the sanctuary for an Untalent - Talent Show. The entire congregation is invited to prepare some ‘Untalent'. The ‘Untalent' varies from year to year. All the church organizations at Trinity are invited to participate, including the Church School. There are no prizes or awards, only applause, appreciation, and laughter." The Reverend Linda's Pancakes have been used most Shrove Tuesdays at Trinity and Christ Church:

The Reverend Linda's Pancakes

1 Cup Flour
1 Egg
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Dash of Nutmeg

(makes about ten pancakes)

The Reverend Linda is Linda Lundgren, Total Ministry Priest of Trinity Church. I had the opportunity to meet Linda and Barbara this past summer. I was curious as to the origin and history of the recipe. Linda said it came from a cookbook over 25 years ago; the cookbook has since been lost in an unfortunate fire. Over the years she has tweaked and tuned the recipe, adding or varying the ingredients.

Talent Across The Pond

Trinity in Hermantown is not alone in the ‘talent show' tradition... The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party at All Saints Church, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, in the UK is just one of the events on their monthly Social Whirl. This is from their 1999 Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party: "Social events are important at All Saints'. Our congregation is drawn from far and wide, and our social activities help to bring us together as a parish family. Some of them are fund-raisers, some are purely for fun. We try to have at least one social event every month, and the Social Committee publishes a twice-yearly calendar of events called ‘The Social Whirl' .The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party is one of the highlights of our social scene. In England, the tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday sprang from the need to use up your flour and sugar before the season of Lenten fasting began. So this is our final party fling before the solemnities of Ash Wednesday usher in Lent. We eat a pancake supper and we hold an impromptu concert party in which most people take part. The 1999 party took the form of a Hoedown in true Wild West style. The Urquhart Room became the Pancake Saloon for the evening. Above are the poster and the programme for the party. Fancy dress is optional, but many people entered into the spirit of the evening and put on their Western best. Chairman of the festivities was Trevor Humphreys, who introduced the acts in the concert party, and kept the action moving. The evening began with a highly improbable Western tale, ‘The Code of the West', acted in mime by All Saints' Dramatic Group, with Simon Grenville as narrator. The plot, far too convoluted to relate, involved the town hussy, the Mayor and his daughter, the daughter's lover, a corrupt Sheriff, a hired gun, and ended in a shoot-out in which most of the participants ended up dead. The concert party continued with close harmony singing by the Bellringers, Priest in Charge George Warner bemoaning the loss of his teeth, and a comedy routine by David Jordan. Abraham Lincoln himself was present to give us the Gettysburg Address, and Betty Payne gave a more light hearted recitation. Some of the younger choristers performed a spirited dance which involved gun twirling, horse riding and another shoot out with all participants deceased. After the pancake supper, there was line dancing. Fortunately instruction was available, because only a handful of those present had done it before. Despite that, everyone seemed to pick it up quickly and enjoy it. This fun evening ended with a sing-song, with the Battle Hymn of the Republic as the final item." I went back to their web page and read about their 2000 Shrove Tuesday Party. The party had an Australian theme. If you are in the UK on Shrove Tuesday, All Saints in Royal Leamington Spa is the place to be that evening.

Cuban-influenced Tradition

Maggie, a member of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Tallahassee, Florida, sent us this tradition: "This isn't a recipe, but my parish observes a practice that I think is rather unique. Since the mid-1800's the Diocese of Florida has had strong ties with the Diocese of Cuba, continuing even after Castro's takeover of the government. We still maintain a companion parish, St. Michael and All Angel's in Ceballos, and a team returned last week from taking medical supplies, school materials and cash to help them build a new church. To celebrate this long standing tradition, in addition to pan-cakes, we always serve black beans and rice as a symbol of our relationship with the Cuban community. The combination may sound weird, but it's actually quite good. We've had the extraordinary opportunity to have Fr. Jose Angel Gutierrez visit with us twice and for members of the parish to also travel to Cuba to be with him. A fairly significant number of our parishioners are university faculty members and we have the good for-tune to have one who is a full professor in Spanish, so communication is readily achievable. It's been a blessing to all of us. Thank goodness we have our Men's Cooking Crew! I think I could probably handle the black beans, but my pan-cakes have, on occasion, been known to resemble hockey pucks."

Mardi Gras Influence

I found the following exchange on the Internet concerning the Mardi Gras influence: Lela Lowe ( posted the following question: "With Shrove Tuesday just two weeks away, I would like to know something very important. What menu does your church use? Are your pancakes more like "flapjacks" or "crepes"? What else do you serve, what prices do you charge and do you have any sort of program?"

Mark Emory Graham of All Saints Church, Atlanta replied: "At All Saints, interest had dwindled in pancakes in recent years. The congregation must be paying more attention to its diet. Anyway, last year we began a ‘new' tradition of a Mardi Gras party with creole food, children throwing beads and coins, and a jazz trumpeter leading us from Parish Hall to Church with ‘When the saints go marching in'. Once gathered on the steps of the church, the palms are burned to make ashes for the next day, and everyone files into the darkened church for compline and then depart in silence."

Mark's response did not answer all of Leta's questions. I found the following on the web page for The Church of the Incarnation in New York City: "Our annual Pancake Supper takes place on Shrove Tuesday. Pancakes, ham, etc., are served from 5:30 to 7:30p.m. You may come any time during that time period. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children. The Episcopal Church Women do all the work; the rest of us simply have to eat."

The ECW do all the work, very interesting. Speaking of interesting andNew York City, I found the following recipe for Shrove Tuesday Sage Sausage on the web page of Christ & St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in New York City ( "Pat Farrell submitted this recipe which dates from 1856. It comes from Pat's great-grandmother, Mareijaha Loftus Ronan. Test the seasoning until you get the mixture you like best.

1 part pork fat
2 parts lean ground pork butt (hamburger grind)
Sage (fresh or dried)
Garlic powder
Summer savory
Soy flour (or matzo meal)

Mix the pork and pork fat and season with a mixture of thyme, sage, garlic powder, savory and pepper. Mix together with soy flour for extender and binder. Add water to moisten.Make into patties. Place in cold, ungreased pan and cook over moderate heat until medium brown."

[top of page]

AOL Responses responded:

"For many years, our choir has put on the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper. (Formerly, it was an EYC project.) They always encourage the Mardi Gras feel (masks, costumes, etc.), but most people come direct from work or after-school sports, etc., so there isn't too much participation. Though there was one unforgettable year when the choirmaster dressed in a jester's costume, white tights and all. We all told him it suited him well! Alas, no secret the mix from Sam's Club or somewhere and follow the directions. They're still pretty good, though. And, hey, it's one night without having to plan, cook, or clean-up the evening meal....a mother's dream!" responded:

"I agree—gotta have those pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, not that there's anything wrong with Mardi Gras and jumbalayah, etc. We've started having a Mardi Gras party at the church the Friday night before Shrove Tuesday—lot's of fun! Also, in addition to ‘using up all the fat' in pancakes before Lent begins, our Men's group, which hosts the pancake supper, uses up all the beer we can since most of us give it up for Lent— It's a lot of fun! (but sometimes makes Ash Wednesday a little difficult—I've learned the hard way! I followed up Henry's posting with the following question: "Are those beer batter pancakes?, or is the beer to help keep cooler in a hot kitchen?" Henry replied: "Mostly to just ‘refresh' the cooks—but sometimes, especially later in the evening, some might make it into the batter—only to be served to the cooks, of course. I never sent in anything to you because ours is just standard fare—pancakes (store brand, add water only mixes), served with sausage and bacon, milk, coffee, and O.J.—nothing fancy, by any means. (BUT, it is amazing how many people compliment us on how wonderful our pancakes are every year!!!—we just smile and say thank you!—wouldn't want our ‘secret recipe' to get out!" responded:

"The Church I attended in Massachusetts had a pancake supper. The kids from the Sunday school classes made an Alleluia banner that was ‘buried' on Shrove Tuesday and brought back into the church on Easter Sunday."

Pamela, an ELCA ‘visitor' to the

Episcopalian board on AOL responded: "At the seminary I attended, the faculty prepared and served a pancake dinner for seminarians and their families." responded:

"Sorry about the delay in responding. (I'm surprised more people haven't jumped in!) The primary Shrove Tuesday tradition I know is, in fact, the pancakes, to use up the fat before the fasting time of Lent began. These were usually accompanied by a party. (And no doubt a hangover would make Ash Wednesday that much more penitenial). Most of the parishes to which I've belonged have had pancake suppers on Shrove Tuesday. One switched to a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras (well, not TOTALLY New Orleans-style) with massive quantities of jumbalayah. I, of course, am a Stubborn Reactionary, and I prefer my pancakes. Is this at all what you were looking for? I'm domesticity-averse, so I fear I Iave no pancake recipes to share."

An Argentine Tradition

Sergio Laurenti in Buenos Aires sent the following email:"Hi, there. At Anglicans Online they said you are looking for recipes for pancakes. Well, this is NOT a recipe, but an idea that works very well here at St John's Cathedral, Buenos Aires. Cooking colorants (colour syrups, or whatever you call them) are made available while pancakes are being cooked. People is encouraged to use colour to add up symbols, messages, or just to produce their ‘Picasso-like' pancake. Hope you like it.

Sergio Laurenti"

[top of page]

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races

In the Introduction, St Anne's web page briefly described the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races in Olney and Liberal, Kansas. I copied the following off the ‘unofficial Olney website. (If you would like more information about these races, a good website to start at is "In 1950 the race became an international event. A challenge was received from the town of Liberal in Kansas, USA, where they had, after seeing press photographs of the race at Olney, conceived the idea of starting a similar custom. Olney readily accepted the challenge and, in a spirit of international goodwill and friendship, the two towns now compete annually and prizes are exchanged. The race is run on a timed basis and the winner declared after times are compared through a transatlantic telephone call from Liberal to Olney. Important relatives from America have been present for the race in Olney, as have Representatives from Olney been present in Liberal, and the British Consul-General in St. Louis and the Governor of Kansas attend celebrations in Liberal. The race in Olney is now run from the Market Place to a point midway down Church Lane - a distance of 415 yards. Warning bells are rung from the Church steeple and the race is started by the Churchwarden at 11.55 am, using the large bronze ‘Pancake Bell' normally on display in the Museum. Pancakes are tossed at the start and the winner is required to toss her pancake again at the finish. Those who are qualified to take part must be women of 18 years of age or over and either have lived in the town of Olney for at least 3 months immediately prior to the event or, if living away, have their permanent home in the town. For the race they must wear the traditional costume of the housewife, including a skirt, apron and head covering, though they need not be married. At the start the Starter will order competitors: "Toss your pancakes - Are you ready?" and then give the starting signal. At the Finish the winner is required to toss her pancake before being declared the winner and being greeted with the Kiss of Peace the words "The peace of the Lord be always with you" spoken by the Vicar, and the traditional prize of a kiss from the Verger. The race over, the runners, officials, townsfolk and visitors pour into the Parish Church for the great Shriving Service, when several of the famous Olney Hymns are sung. Competitors place their frying pans around the font and occupy seats reserved for them. During the service, presentation of the official prizes from Olney and Liberal takes place. Other prizes are given at an evening party." I found the following on the ‘official' Olney web page high-lighting the 1999 Olney Pancake race:"Natalie Thomas makes it two in a row by winning the Olney Pancake Race for the second year in succession. She covered the 450 yards from the Market Square to St. Peter & St. Paul's Church in a time of 1 minute and 6 seconds. Natalie like all the other contestants has been in rigorous training for the event over the last twelve months. This not only involved fitness training but also practice in the cooking of the perfect pancake. It is reliably estimated that over 5,000 pancakes have been produced and eaten by the spouses of the contestants during the training programme. The original 10,000 entrants were reduced to the top 30 who competed in the race itself by a selection procedure which ensured that they would be fit enough to complete the grueling course and that their pancakes were edible. There is no maximum age limit for contestants but runners over the age of 100 must have their parent's permission to take part. Contestants must wear the traditional race costume which includes an embroidered and sequined skirt and a lace headscarf. Each contestant makes their own costume following a pattern which has been handed down through the generations of womenfolk in the Parish. Each skirt has as many sequins as a Come Dancing ball gown and takes on average 300 hours to make. Lace making has always been a craft industry in Olney and the headscarves are made to age-old patterns dating back to the 1950's."


A letter from Australia

Shroves look a lot like baby Koala Bears
We received the following email from The Reverend Jim Brady, retired Vicar of St Mary's, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:

"Hi Christ Church! and congratulations on your 150th. We at St Mary'sNorth Melbourne are 147, having had our beginnings in 1853. About pancakes. We don't have any special recipes but you may be interested in our Race. It has been going for 16 years and consists of a relay around the street block on which our church is situated- four legs each of about 150 meters, two of them downhill and two uphill. Teams consist of four runners and a cook. Activities on Shrove Tuesday start off at 5.30pm with games on the church lawn for younger kids.

These used to culminate in an egg throwing and catching competition, throwers and partners moving further apart with each throw, until only one pair was left with an unbroken egg. However, people pointed out that in a world with so much hunger this smashing of thirty or so eggs was not a good message for the church to be sending.So now it's water bombs instead and since Shrove Tuesday always comes at the end of our summer when the weather is quite warm the dousing everyone gets with water is quite welcome. Getting down to the main events in true Olympic spirit the teams enter and march past, each in its colours and led by its cook holding up their frying pan decked out with ribbons as a standard. They line up and take the oath to compete fairly and then sing the anthem. Some visiting notable then proclaims "Let the Pancake Races begin'. and we get underway. Each cook stands in position at a barbeque holding frying pan in one hand and a regulation size cup of regulation batter in the other. Runners go off to their changeover points at the corners of the block and a ringing of the church bell tells them the race is about to start. Cooks must cook a pancake at least 16 cms in diameter and then run to church fence and hand over to first runner. It's a tough race and fiercely contested with everyone looking out for any funny tricks such as nobbling of runners or pancake substitution. Points are awarded for positions at the finishing line and then for quality of pancakes and the two are added. A team can come in second or even lower but still win on quality. Before they are declared the winners and presented with the trophy the winning team must eat their pancake. The race has had some exciting and mysterious moments which are talked about each year. The most famous being the great chapati substitution scandal (of early days when we were all very innocent) when the winning team was found to have substituted a pre cooked chapati for their half-cooked pancake. Another concerned an attempt to utilize two passing cyclists to assist -which misfired when the cyclists went the wrong way. Last year there was the mystery of the lost and found pancake. Final runner for third team over the line amazed everyone, including herself (or was it a good act) when put an empty pan down in front of the judges. Running back over the course she reappeared with a very fine looking pancake which won the team the race on quality! The judges dismissed all protests and debate still rages as to whether the pancake produced was the one cooked for the race. Intensive search failed to turn up any other and since the one judged was eaten on the spot (suspiciously quickly) the mystery remains. You may think my account a little biased but you see it was the choir team who came up on quality to draw with my team (the Vicar's team). The only draw in the history of the race. We have always been great rivals and since this was to be my last Shrove Tuesday before retiring I was determined to avenge past defeats. The trophies are frying pans covered with small brass shields, each engraved with details of the winners for a particular year. Well, there it is. If you look at our parish website ( you will find on the events page some material from our 1997 event. Sorry that later years have not been retained on the site. In the photograph I am the one in the straw hat. I have retired from the parish as of last August but I am keeping up the website until my successor is inducted on March 1st. Good luck with your book. Whether or not you use any of our stuff I would like to have a copy. Please send details of cost and how to order. We tend to eat our pancakes simple - thin, made from a pouring batter of flour, eggs and milk; sprinkled with lemon juice and sugar and rolled up. After the races (three divisions Juvenile, Junior and Open) we all settle down to a barbeque and feast of pancakes under the stars until well into the night. Again, every blessing for your 150th year and particularly for your Pancake Day festivities.

Yours in Christ

(The Reverend) Jim Brady

Compiler's Note: I thought us Yanks could use some help to better under-stand Australian lingo.I found the definition for ‘nobbling' in my British dictionary: nobbling, (slang) to tamper with (a race horse) to prevent its winning Chapati was a mystery to me. I posted a request for a definition in the Guestbook on St Mary's web page. Beverley Phillips, Director of Music at St Mary's sent me the following: "A chapati is a type of unleavened Indian bread -usually very thin, fairly crisp and definitely a cheat! The choir were innocent of this." 

[top of page]


I learned a few things while ‘pulling all this off'; it was work and it was fun. I hope you enjoy this booklet and all that folks have shared with us. When making pancakes, don't be afraid to experiment, add, subtract, and vary ingredients. Practice making lots of pancakes for practice makes perfect. Lastly, if I get into another pancake bake-off, it is going to be batter to batter, griddle to griddle; there are too many variables to adequately present someone else's pancake recipe.
Page material collected and written by John C. Hunkins, Sr.


Page Designed by Nancy Piatkowski
We take no responsiblity for failure of pancakes or celebrations!
Return to top of page
Return to Shrovis Ritualis
Return to BuffaloLore