Pancake Tuesday!


My Mother-in-Law’s Pancakes

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My Mum’s Crepes :)

As children, Pancake Tuesday was one of our favourite days in the year.

Historically of course, it was the day before the start of Lent (actually, I think you’ll find that it still is ;)) and was the last chance to use up all the eggs, butter and sugar before 40 days of plain living which only ended on Easter Sunday. As every child of my generation knew, the best two days of Lent were Pancake Tuesday and Easter Sunday – the bit in between wasn’t quite as much fun :) In New Orleans it’s called Mardi Gras, or ‘Fat Tuesday’, for the same reason.

I believe that the Irish are allowed a day off their Lenten penance to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, but that could just be a rumour.. :)

In our house, Mum would stand at the cooker making paper-thin crepe after crepe for us, from the time we came home from school, until 6pm when we heard Dad’s key in the latch; then she made some for herself and Dad – he loved pancakes! Somehow, she had a seemingly endless supply of batter, sugar and lemons.. What great memories!

Here’s the link to Mum’s Crepes –

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Crepes (17)

Mr Saturday Night’s Mother, the famous Lily Mitchell,  made traditional Northern Ireland Pancakes – the small stackable type made with buttermilk –  which Mr SN loved so much that he used to get his knuckles rapped for swiping them as they came hot off the traditional griddle she used..  here’s the link to Lily’s Pancakes –

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Travel to various parts of the world has introduced many of us to the IHOP*, pancake stacks, crispy bacon and maple syrup. All of which are now standard items on breakfast menus in every part of Ireland. Well, they say travel broadens the mind.. :)

Maple syrup is still fairly expensive but worth it, I think. They have fabulous Organic  Grade A Canadian Maple Syrup reduced to £4 in Dunne’s this week –  It’s in their Simply Better range, and I couldn’t resist it today. (and no, Dunne’s are not paying me to say that!)

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Apart from the traditional Sugar and lemon – still my personal favourite – you can have any topping you like. Chocolate sauce,  Nutella (or a non-nut version) is simply made for spreading on pancakes. Interestingly, Nutella, mini marshmallows and golden syrup were all cleverly grouped together in the supermarket today, along with the ubiquitous Jif squeezy lemon.. an old Irish tradition!

Perhaps some fresh cream as a topping, and the nicest berries you can find?  – defrosted Summer Fruits from the freezer section are an excellent alternative to the slightly dodgy soft fruit that you sometimes get when they’re not in season here. Sliced banana is delicious with pancakes and Maple syrup too..

Crispy bacon has to be just that – crispy. This is why I use thinly sliced streaky bacon to accompany my pancakes. I grill it, but have to watch it like a hawk, because it burns in a heartbeat. I usually grill the bacon first, before I make any pancakes; then it’s out of the way, keeping warm in a low oven, ready to serve when the pancakes are.

Whichever pancake/crepe you prefer, give my home-made ones a go this year – they won’t be perfectly round, or all the same size, but you might find that you enjoy making them, and they’ll certainly be much appreciated by your grateful friends and family!

Happy Pancake Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/ Mardi Gras! :)

*IHOP: International House of Pancakes (what a time to be alive!)


I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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