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Cultural Concubine Blog

Neither here nor there…


Mixed with cream, baked in butter…

It is funny how most nationalities really believe in their national specialities. 
In Holland we are proud of many things, we have the best cheese (conveniently forgetting the French and English varieties) best football (not sure about Brazilians though…) and best beer (hmmm Trappist monks will probably not agree)… 

One of the things I always thought the Dutch to really be the masters of, is Pancakes…
(best made with cream and water instead of milk, as the milk will make them rubbery instead of crispy…)

Where else do you find restaurants dedicated to this flipped floppy disk?

Today however I learnt that the English really have one up on the Dutch, by dedicating a special day to eating pancakes…

Shrove Tuesday

For the sake of my Dutch friends I will try to explain. 
It is the last day before lent, where people finish up all the rich ingredients they have left in the pantry before fasting for 40 days. 


Carnival… festival of dropping meat?

Sounds plain and simple, but why then do the English keep their pancakes so simple?! Simply served with sugar and lemon juice, or in some extravagant cases Rhum.
Surely they should be able to come up with something more vice riddled? 
I was surprised that no one here had ever tried a bacon pancake with syrup… I’d say that is pretty rich, while even incorporating it with the Catholic meat referenced in Carnival….

It made me think about what I would give up for lent. In other words, what I would put on my pancake as a farewell for 40 days… 
But I couldn’t come up with anything, as at the moment I am living a rather moderate lifestyle. Most of the food is locally sourced, no biscuits, no chocolate, no smoking… There’s an occasional glass of wine with dinner. And a small piece of cheese after…

I don’t drink or eat enough of anything to worrying about giving it up. 
The only two possible items I would worry about are Tea and Butter
But tell me honestly… is there really life without either of those two? 

How will I cook without butter? 
I could try giving up tea and replacing it with herbal infusions? 
Would my niece and nephews start calling me Aunt Woopsie Tea instead?!


Thank God I just found out it will be next week instead of today… So I have a week to think about it.

So, what habits will you break, and what will you give up for lent?

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