Tuesday 12 February 2013

Mardi Gras - best of both worlds

Happy Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras!

This is a fun day in our house, as being an English family living in France, we get to participate in both traditions.  Shrove Tuesday = pancakes for dinner and Mardi Gras = 'Carnaval' which for French school children means dressing up and parading through the village with their school chums whilst throwing confetti around, before the local mayor doles out sweets.

Pancake race

French Primary School Carnaval 1956 Photo:

Pancake day takes me back to my schooldays specifically as it was one of the most eagerly awaited days on the school calendar. I went to an all girls boarding school north of London in the late 1970's/early 1980's - 300 girls stuck in a wood - think Hogwarts but definitely without the magic.... The food was pretty dire and once a year, on Shrove Tuesday, the Upper Sixth formers - oddly called 'Students' to make them seem more grown up (they were even allowed to wear their own clothes, imagine!) would set up a stall and make and sell pancakes to raise money for some designated charity. The simple pleasure of a pancake with sugar and lemon has stayed with me ever since, and I have been more than happy to pass this taste sensation on to my two boys - Rock Boy (aged 9) and Captain Adorable (aged 7). Nutella vies with the lemon & sugar option these days as that is what their French compatriots eat, and they've even been known to ask for a waffle as those also appear on the Carnaval 'goûter' menu but we are purists in this house, so pancakes it is! And of course they shall be in eaten in their costumes - astronauts rule this year.

Photo: Colin Campbell for The Guardian

Here is Nigella's failsafe crêpes/pancakes recipe, and I have to say it's a pretty quick kids dinner on other days too. Ham and grated cheese is an easy option as the savoury main with the lemon & sugar version for pudding. I'm off on a trip down memory lane. Bon appétit!

1 comment:

Micala said...

We had enough left over for breakfast this morning, yum! I'm with you on the lemon and sugar, nothing like it.

Lovely blog Jules and can totally hear your voice reading your words. Thank you for whisking me away from the sofa to high fashion and new music x