St. John's Shrove "Tuesday"

St. John's Shrove "Tuesday"

article by the Rev. Leo M. Joseph, O.S.F., Priest In Charge of St. John’s, Lakeport

The name Shrove comes from the past tense of the Old English word "shrive" which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration. Throughout Christian Europe people indulge themselves on foods that traditionally were not allowed during Lent and had to be used up. In England and other English speaking countries, pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were not eaten during Lent.

Here is a traditional recipe for the "Shrove Tuesday" pancakes. Makes about 18. 


4 large eggs
1 cup milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla, extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
Additional melted butter
Optional: Powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice


Blend first 6 ingredients in blender. Gradually add flour; blend until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes.
Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with butter. Add 2 generous tablespoons batter, tilting pan to coat bottom. Cook until golden on bottom, about 45 seconds. Turn pancake over. Cook until bottom is speckled with brown, about 30 seconds. Turn out onto paper towel. Cover with another paper towel. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with butter as needed.

Traditional English Topping:

Butter ovenproof dish. Sift powdered sugar over speckled side of each pancake, then sprinkle lightly with lemon juice; fold pancakes into quarters. Overlap pancakes in prepared dish. Cover; bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve with more powdered sugar and lemon juice.

Do you have a favorite pancake recipe you would like to share? Leave it in the comments section below!

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