Some of my favorite things about growing up were the traditions my parents established and practiced. My sister and I had something to look forward to on all the important and unimportant holidays. Each Easter we awoke to a pair of almost-matching stuffed rabbits wearing differently colored jumpers or hats. On Christmas Eve we were always allowed to open one present early—though one year we were forced into choosing the new shoes that had to be worn to the pageant that night. Our milk and eggs were dyed green for Saint Patrick’s Day breakfast, and a (presumably very drunk) leprechaun left piles of pennies and confetti clovers on windowsills throughout the apartment. And on Fat Tuesday, we had pancakes for dinner. While the other holiday customs petered out as we grew older, I am pleased to say that the shrove tradition continues on.
What I loved about Fat Tuesday was the surprise of it. Unlike the big days, there was never any anticipation of impending holiday cheer. Fat Tuesday rolled round with little fanfare, turning a regular winter weeknight into a festive event.
The pancakes I make at home are never as light and fluffy as those at my beloved Pancake House. Tonight, they were particularly fat and indelicate—like cowboy griddlecakes, bred for durability on a long day’s ride. Still, they tasted mighty good and made for a fine dinner alongside turkey sausage and honeyed halves of our home-canned peaches.