Shrove Tuesday :: Happy Mardi Gras

Now even though our fair city spent much of Tuesday watching parades flow through the streets, and even though we did venture downtown to visit with an Aunt visiting from Ohio, our family spent much of Mardi Gras day at home celebrating the day as Shrove Tuesday.

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It is customary on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, for all of the eggs, butter and milk to be used up in preparation of the abstaining and fasting that occurs during the Lenten season. For this reason, recipes including these ingredients have become popular dishes, (most notably pancakes), causing it often to be referred to as Panckae Tuesday as well as Shrove Tuesday.

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In keeping with tradition, our family had our very own Mardi Gras colored pancakes for breakfast! Purple, gold and green food coloring additions to pancake batter helped to make our morning just a bit more festive!

After breakfast, the children then dove into the reading of Mardi Gras: A Cajun Country Celebration. I personally love this little gem!  The book explains the origins of Mardi Gras as it was first brought to the Americas by the Acadian French, my ancestors. You see, Eunice, LA,  the setting of this little book, is where my father and mother are both from originally. In fact my grandparents and several aunts, uncles and cousins still reside there today.

I love being able to share my heritage with my children through this lovely book– they are able to see the Cajun Mardi Gras I grew up with, all the while celebrating the feast day within the church. They were even able to learn a bit about the Liberty Center in which their late Great-Grandfather often played!

Once the book was finished, we then proceeded to make the traditional king cake that graces our dinner table every year on this day.
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Let’s just say a certain little someone was rather eager for a taste!

While the king cake baked, we headed outside with our frying pans.

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Tradition holds that a housewife in England was busy preparing her family’s Panckae Tuesday breakfast when she suddenly heard the church bells ring for the morning’s service. Having lost track of time, she hurried out the door carrying her frying pan and pancake with her!  Today, her incident is still remembered across the world with pancake races being held on Shrove Tuesday.

Remembering this, the children each took a leftover pancake along with the frying pans to race across the front yard. During the race, the participants are supposed to run while flipping their pancake as often as possible without dropping it all the way to the finish line.

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It was harder than it looks! The children ended up having more fun trying to toss their pancakes than run against each other. In the end, we decided to leave the pancakes for the birds since they had been dropped so many times!

(And let’s just say that our  neighbors who were just arriving home for lunch now think us rather odd!)

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Happy Shrove Tuesday!

Share how you celebrated with all of us in the comments!

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