Tuesday, February 21, 2012



Secondary School Childrens race.& nbsp;       This was a fine bunch of people, who raced from the Town Hall behind  down the road to the church. There was great fun and great enthusiasm, especially when the dog ate the pancakes that fell on the floor. The little boy cried but was given another pancake.
Women's Race

 Men;s Race-winning Contestant


Junior race Winner and runner up.....I think he was quite disappointed!

It was a pleasure to see such kind and welcoming people and the children, without attitude and with plenty of fun taking part in a local festivity. They were polite and yet really enjoyed themselves, shrieking with laughter.
Male finalist

Finalists in the Childrens Race

The Road at dusk D

Today is Shrove Tuesday and up and down most of Christendom, is the final day to eat up all the rich foods before the Lenten fast and to go to Confession and be 'Shriven' of your sins before Ash Wednesday (tomorrow) The confession aspect of tthe day is not available to all, being confined to when the priest is available for most in the many penetential Rites available in all parishes. I have put a list of reconciliation times at the bottom of this blog. If you would like me to include your parish or any penetential service, or it there is any inaccuracy, please let me know.

 People used to have a half day off work in Britain . Usually the church bell rang at 11am. Pancake races are still run in many places.Indeed the popularity of the pancake races and making of pancakes in neighbourhoods, care homes and all over has not died out.

Clarkes, the Newport based food manufacturing plant have reported record sales for the Canadian Maple Spirit this week.They are said to be working round the clock to fill the orders for the four leading supermarket chains. Schools also take the lead in keeping the custom going!

 Abergavenny Tithe Barn have published a recipe for this years' pancakes and  there are more races at South Cerney, Gloucestershire from All Hallows Church at 3.30pm, and at St Margaret's Chapel (next to Our Lady of Glastonbury Catholic Church) at 3.30. I shall be travelling to Grosmont this afternoon to see the races there.

The tradition is said to have originated when a housewife from Olney in Buckinghamshire was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake. Pancake races in Olney can be dated back to 1445- in Catholic times.

The first pancake recipe was in a cookbook dating back to the 1439. Over the years this custom has been kept and modern runners now dress as traditional housewives with aprons ands bonnets whilst holding their frying pan. Pancake Day race rules state that they must at least toss the pancake at the start of the race and at the end of the pancake day races.
Shrove Tuesday is a term associated in English-speaking countries, Other Countries have, of course, Carnival and Mardi Gras.It is noted in Britain in histories going back to 1000AD, but may have been much earlier in the aural tradition.Making and eating the pancakes was considered the last feast which would be restricted during Lent.The date of Shrove Tuesday depends on the date of Easter and based on cycles of the moon.
There are Penetential Masses in all parishes this Lent, which will be published on the Churches Websites.Unfortunately some of these are not up to date, and cannot be accessed.
CWMBRAN NP44 3LTOur Lady of the Angels confessions (reconciliation)  Sats at 12noon -12.30
NP7 5UD Our Lady and St Michaels   Abergavenny, not sure
NP20 ITP St Mary's Stow Hill Sats 10.05-11.45
NP10 9DW St Basil and St Gwladys, Tregwylym Rogerstone Tuesday 6.30-6.50
NP20 3AQ  St David's Park Crescent Monday 6.30-6.50
NP20 7DX  St David Lewis, Bettws Newport  6.30-6.50
NP4 6HL  St Alban's Pontypool       5.30-5.40
NP4 9RA St Felix, Saturday after morning Mass
NP20 2BZ St Michaels Newport. Wed 6.30-6.50.
NP25 3BD   Saturday  St Mary's Monmouth 11-11.30  and on Request
And finally....a recipe!
  • 110g plain  flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk mixed with 75ml water
  • 50g butter
  • pinch of salt

Gently melt the butter (30 secs in microwave) or in a pan. Sift together the flour and salt. Crack the two eggs into a dish and mix thoroughly and then pour into a well in the middle of the flour (make this with a spoon)Whisk in the eggs gently so that there is a creamy runny mixture.Put 2 tablespoons full of butter into the pan and then keep the rest of the melted butter for the frying pan.Get the pan really HOT and then TURN DOWN THE HEAT . Put two tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, after the butter has completely lubricated it and move the pan around to make sure the whole of the base of the pan is covered.With a palate knife , gently keep the pancake moving until it is firm enough to flip over or toss over (if you are brave!) Serve with anything you like!

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