Claire, my eight-and-a-half year old, came skipping out of Sunday school saying, “We have to have pancakes on Tuesday.” “Why?” “It’s Pancake Day!” She said it with that sigh that says, “You don’t know anything Mommy”.
She taught me that Pancake Day, aka Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, people used up all of their rich foods, e.g., eggs, milk and sugar, before the Lenten fasting began, hence the pancakes.
Claire reminded me – twice – yesterday. I promised her that I’d make the pancake batter after she went to bed so she could have them for breakfast. We even shook on it. Mommy was going to make pancakes for breakfast.
Then I forgot. At 11:30 p.m. last night just as I was drifting off to sleep I rolled over and said, “Doggone it! Pancake batter.” I was too tired to get out of bed. Instead I prayed that she wouldn’t kick up a fuss in the morning.
“Sorry, Mommy forgot. How about pancakes for dinner?” “Okay.” Prayers answered. Fine, I’d make the batter in the afternoon. And, yes, I make pancakes from scratch. It’s something to do with my being a perfectionist and Aunt Jemima pancake mix costs a fortune over here.
As I started to make the batter I remembered what else I forgot: my contribution for tonight’s snack table at an evening event at school for her catechism class. I panicked. (Lots of panicking going on today.)
Okay, I’ll make spinach onion dip. Oops, used up the last of the onion soup mix. I can get onion soup mix, but over the border in France not in Switzerland. That was out. What else could I make?
I started digging in my enormous freezer, which is full of food, but usually has nothing to eat. I dug around for my emergency chocolate chip cookie dough that I save for times like this (made from scratch, of course, because I’m a bit crazy like that). Nope, all gone. I did find the rest of my birthday cake from last August and cupcakes I made for Thanksgiving.
Then I had a divine inspiration or maybe it was the Barefoot Contessa. Cheese straws! How hard could they be? Well, if you don’t have any of the ingredients on hand, very. I ran around the corner to the supermarket and got what I needed.
Technically, cheese straws very easy to make, but hard to make pretty like on TV. They’re especially hard when you’ve got to pick your kid up from school in 20 minutes.
I picked Claire up from school and ran her to a 5:15 doctor’s appointment. We didn’t get home until 6:40. We had to be at school at 7:00. The poor kid was hungry. I managed to make two pancakes for my child before we flew out the door.
We arrived at school late and got stuck in the back of the multipurpose room. I could barely hear the presentation, which didn’t matter since it was all in French.
We finally got back home at 9:10; bedtime was at 8:30. My exhausted child started crying, “Mommy, I’m still hungry! I didn’t have enough pancakes and no bacon and nothing else either!”
So, my daughter with her eyes barely open finally got her pancake dinner at 9:20. Mommy promised her baby that she’d have pancakes and she delivered!
And a happy Pancake Day to you too!