Today is shrove Tuesday, which has now become better known as Pancake Day.
What is Shrove Tuesday about? Has it become just a day of cooking and tossing pancakes?
Shrove Tuesday is the last day of merriment and feasting before Lent begins in earnest.
But in truth and in its history, today is about penitence. Shrove Tuesday got its name from the ritual of shriving, which early Christians used to do.
The act of shriving meant that Christians would confess their sins and their shortcomings and in so doing will receive absolutions.
Absolution means the person will be forgiven of his sins and released from his guilt and pain that he had caused.
This tradition is very old.
It was a custom and tradition of the early Christians to confess their sins a week before the start of Lent to their priest/confessor, who shall so shrive them.
Today is not only about pancake but a time to think about the wrong deeds that we have done or have continued doing. We must be penitent of them.
On the happier side, Shrove Tuesday is also about partying and feasting. Time to cook and serve all the foods that may have to be given up for the sober Lent to come. Barbecue the meat and fish and make pastas so no food are wasted for the coming Lent. Today is like a Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday.
Pancake became the ideal food for Tuesday because it uses up all the fats, milk and eggs with the addition of flour.
The above is an Indian basmati rice. If you do not have a kitchen hero like the rice cooker, basmati rice is the easiest to cook, using an ordinary pan, among the various types of rice. It is almost full-proof as long as you follow the packet’s instruction.
Just over a week ago, I found out from my sister that rice can cause diabetes. Apparently the carbohydrates in rice can be converted into glucose in the body. So if you are rather partial to rice at every meal, then train yourself to regularly exercise. Sweat out that rice carb before it turns into glucose!
My fortune cookie says that “Everything is now in place for you to make a major decision with ease.”
The fortune cookies came as a freebie with our Chinese take-away.
But did you know? Fortune cookies are not a Chinese invention. They are in fact American. A Japanese restauranteur in San Francisco, apparently started the fashion of inserting little bits of thank you notes in their buns.
This proved popular which then copied by a nearby Chinese restaurant and instead of thank you, it started to tell ‘fortune’
Friday night and the feeling is right for a doner kebab.
I know it is usually a fish Friday but just for this Friday, I or rather Peter and I fancied a bit of a doner.
It was quite lovely too. The meat was tender with the right amount of hot spice from the chili.
Doner kebab is apparently Turkish in origin or rather the inventor was. It was invented by Mahmut Aygun about 40 years ago when he left Turkey for a greener pasture.
Mr Aygun was 16 years old when he emigrated to Germany. Fairly early on he realised that there was a gap in the market for old fashioned roast lamb and spices, loved by migrants like him. At first his kebab was served on a plate with rice and vegetable.
Again Mr Argun became aware of the need for a more portable, take-away food for the on-the-go Berliners, thus, the the birth of the doner kebab, which is roast lamb with salad inserted into a warmed up pitta bread, generously drizzled with garlic sauce or chili sauce.
This proved a hit especially to late night revellers. Its popularity has spread far and wide.
Doner came from the Turkish word dondumek means rotating meat, which aptly describe how doner is roasted upright in a rotating rotisserie.
The kebab is then cut thinly using a 19 inches long kebab carving knife.