Ideas for Shrove Tuesday

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday or as many now refer to it Pancake Day, in the past this was a day when many Christians prepared to fast or abstain from rich ingredients used in food such as pancakes. Today there are plenty of options in the shops from readymade mixes, readymade pancakes or buying flour and eggs etc. to make them from scratch. However, during World War II some foods such as eggs were not always as plentiful or they were rationed. In March 1943 an article was published in the Bulletin to inspire those celebrating Shrove Tuesday.

VARIATIONS WITH A BATTER: Thanks to "Lease-lend" we can still make a pre- war batter with real eggs. The dried eggs, whether in tins or sold loose, as most housewives will now realise, are excellent in all types of cooking. For batter particularly, they not only increase the food value, but also help the colour and texture of the mixture.

During the making of the batter, it is essential that all ingredients are smoothly mixed and well beaten, and success depends on lightness which is obtained by the introduction of cold air in the beating, and a high temperature in cooking.

The following are some ideas which the housewife may find useful in varying the simple foundation batter: Foundation Batter.-4 oz. flour, 1 tablespoon dried egg, 1 oz. dried milk, 1/2- 3/4 pint water. Pinch of salt. Sieve the flour, salt, egg and milk together, and mix with sufficient water to make a stiff mixture. Beat well, add rest of water and put aside for one hour.

1. BAKED AS FOR YORKSHIRE PUDDING: With chopped cooked meat, 1/2 lb. sausages, grated cheese and Worcester sauce, 3/4 lb. mixed cooked vegetables, scraps of cooked or tinned fish, plain sweet batter dredged with sugar before serving, 3 oz. of dried fruit or 1/2 lb. fresh fruit (dates, prunes, apples, raisins, sultanas), or plain batter served with syrup, jam or chocolate sauce.

2. FRIED: (a) Pancakes.-Stuffed with any of fillings mentioned above, or with fried potato and pickle or chutney. Served with a sweet or savoury sauce. Rolled or on top of each with the filling between. Cooked “dry " as for dropped scones which can be eaten hot stuffed with a filling, or cold spread with butter, or 1 teaspoonful baking powder added to mixture and tablespoonfuls dropped into hot fat and served with bacon. (b) Coating.-The liquid reduced to half in the basic recipe and used for coating, dried fruits (prunes and apples), fresh fruit, slices of cooked vegetable, croquette mixtures, or small strips of stale cake or bread moistened with flavoured milk. Steaming.-Increase the amount of flour by 1 oz. and use any of the variations mentioned above.

Note: For a lighter and richer batter add an extra egg and reduce the amount of liquid equivalent to this. Sugar tends to make a batter heavy, therefore dredge sweet batters with sugar after cooking.


Of course pancakes aren’t just for this time of year as demonstrated in this week’s photograph. A WVS Rally at Warmwell Airfield taken on 15/10/1957, where eight WVS members of the Swanage emergency feeding team made and cooked small pancakes on an improvised hotplate cooker with oven at a WVS Rally at Warmwell Airfield, Dorset.  Two members cooked the pancakes while others made the batter.  On the table is the shield they won when they came first in the Dorset Emergency Feeding competition.

Enjoy your pancakes!

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 27 February 2017.

Labels: Pancakes, Shrove Tuesday , WVS, Bulletin, Emergency feeding

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