Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Pancake Day!

Its Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day) for much of North America. Traditionally, pancake day is the day before Ash Wednesday and is the last day before the beginning of 40 days of Lent. During Lent, its customary to give up little pleasures. Years ago, it was customary to give up eating meat for Lent, and to use up things like meat, butter, flour, the tradition of Pancake Day began. Pancake Day, is the last day to use up these ingredients before the Lent season begins. In today's society, some people will give up using credit cards for Lent, or drinking pop, or eating chocolate, maybe even give up coffee or swearing (gulp, good luck to you).

Back home, we got our own traditions on Pancake Day, with church breakfasts and the such. And just about everyone I know participates in making and eating pancakes for the supper.

Now here's the twist! In Newfoundland, you are supposed to put trinkets into your pancake batter. Each trinket was symbolic of the future and it was so much fun as a child to try to find the trinket that you wanted. The trinkets traditionally used were the following:

-- a penny, to symbolize poverty
-- a nickel, to symbolize wealth
-- a string, to symbolize a fisherman (if a boy got the string, he would be a fisherman, if a girl did, she would marry one)
-- a wedding ring, to symbolize that you would marry soon
-- a button, to symbolize that you would never marry
-- a nail, to symbolize that you would soon pass away
-- a thimble, to symbolize that you would be a seamstress (a girl) or a tailor (a boy)

As kids my sisters and I would to consume far too many pancakes in search of money (because the rule in our house was that if you didn't eat the pancake you couldn't keep the money). The only thing that went into our pancakes was money!

Kiddo woke up with dollar signs behind her eyelids today, she has already seen the pile of loonies and toonies on the counter wrapped in tin foil!

Ummmm pancake day!

Edit--> I got $2.53 in my pancakes.


  1. Sounds like a great tradition to me!!

  2. most of those things sound like things you could accidentally eat. i like your use of loonies and toonies better. sounds much safer. and you can totally buy more with those. ^_^

  3. I never heard of such a thing, but it sounds like fun! It would be my luck to break a tooth!

  4. haha! Awesome I remember this wonderful tradition while growing up back in Newfoundland! My (younger) brother would always find the ring (he's now married) and I'd always find the big money - I'm still waiting for this "poor student" thing to pass into some actual winnings! Thanks for bringing back lovely memories :)

  5. Must be a Maritime thing....cuz I lived most of my life in Ontario, and never heard of this! LOL! I wouldn't want to find a nail in mine!!

  6. That sounds pretty strange to me - to fry up money or a wedding ring? Why ruin a good pancake?

    1. you wouldn't fry up the things you put in a pancake because it is usually wrapped in tinfoil not only for safety but also health reasons. let me tell you it really is a fun tradition!!

  7. the pancakes were great! I got a whole $2.53

  8. My crowd are from the Southern Shore and pretty superstitious, so it was exciting that mom actually put nails in our pancakes growing up and we'd all hope to get it, for the novelty of foreboding. "Oooh, the nail for your coffin!" we'd tease. Really enjoy your blog!

  9. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. I've been sitting here at work in Ontario, asking people- taking a poll of what they got in their pancakes and everyone is looking at me like im CRAZY. I even called my dad to see if it was a newfie thing, or just our family. I LOVED growing up with this tradition. Great childhood memory for me.....