The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of confession and doing penance. During the week before Lent, sometimes called Shrovetide in English, Christians were expected to go to confession in preparation for the penitential season of turning to God. Shrove Tuesday was the last day before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, and noted in histories dating back to 1000 AD. The popular celebratory aspect of the day had developed long before the Protestant Reformation, and was associated with releasing high spirits before the somber season of Lent. It is analogous to the continuing Carnival tradition associated with Mardi Gras (and its various names in different countries) that continued separately in European Catholic countries.
In the United States, the term "Shrove Tuesday" is less widely known outside of people who observe the liturgical traditions of the Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic Churches. Because of the increase in many immigrant populations and traditions since the 19th century, and the rise of highly publicized festivals,Mardi Gras has become more familiar as the designation for that day.
In the United Kingdom and many other countries, the day is often known as Pancake Day. Making and eating such foods was considered a last feast with ingredients such as sugar, fat and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritualfasting associated with Lent.
Tonight we will have Crepes(instead of pancakes)...yum! The batter is made and I'll blog about it then. In some cultures your would also have or instead have hotcross buns. I love a holiday with food association.
So the snow storm that has hit midwest hit Indianapolis on Friday afternoon, sending everyone scurrying for shelter and closing the place I work part time. Friday night off and my darling husbands suggests I go out for drink with my friend, another mama (of twins and a 7 month old). From where we live we can easliy walk into Broad Ripple, even in the snow. A night like this calls for just the right venue, we knew it was either OPT's or The Alley Cat. OPT's was bound to be filled with sports fanatics and since neither of us could give a damn about football, the Cat it was. Plus, the food is way better. But you'd never guess it...I promise, I'll add pictures sometime...but the Alley Cat is a local's dive, a hidden gem halfway down a grimy alley, it is where you end your night, staggering and giggling(if you are a happy drunk, like me). Since we were there at 8:30,(absurdly early for Cat goers), we easily snagged a table, got adult beverages and I order some supper. Anyone who has hung out in BR for any length of time can tell you about The Alley Cat hamburgers, Ahh, I wish I had brought my camera, huge, juicy and yum. Like ohmygodyum and all falling apart and you are looking like a complete pig and it is That Good that you don't care. Nobody else in the place cares either, because unless they are interlopers,(so who cares what they think) they have experienced the metaphysical joy of the Alley Cat hamburger. With bacon. And Cheese. And Everything on it. And a side of gorgeous onion rings fried to a turn. I think I'm drooling right now thinking about it.
After a week of cold temps and sick kids, I was able to walk to the store with Twins and Fra. It is a brisk and blowy day, but still very nice for walking.
The way memory is triggered by smell is amazing to me, suddenly while we were walking, I was struck by scent and memory. The cold, damp air, the smell of diesel and winter. It smelled just like Belfast, but I was standing at the corner of College and Westfield. It isn't actually a nice smell, but it brings back such nice memories of visiting my sister that it is a comforting smell. I suppose the Belfast smell is why I let Fra buy powered sugar donuts at the drugstore, my sister would approve of him getting a sweet, and thats what he picked. They were the Hostess ones, you know, Donettes, that slays me. He ate one on the way home...
And one with lunch, along with his bread and butter, hummus and pretzel sticks and green apple slices...all his choice. Then he went to nap, singing "Oh no, I can't sleep. Oh Mommy, come on. I can't sleep." He did sleep, though.
So it was my birthday and I love food. On my actual birthday, we ordered take-away chinese. Mmmmm, for both sodium, fat, fried-ness and cost, we hardly ever order chinese. But on birthdays none of that count. We ordered from Side Wok Cafe, in Broad Ripple. In our opinion they are far and away the BEST take-away chinese food, in fact I think they rival some of the fancier, sit down restaurant. Their soup(Hot and Sour is our fav) is full of fresh mushrooms and tofu, none of that wrinkly rehydrated stuff. It is hot and spicy and garlicy. The egg rolls have nice crunchy vegetables and are fried perfectly. The Pu Pu platter is yum good and huge.
As you can see, we had an extravagantly large spread...so much in fact that we just had left-overs for dinner, with a little white rice and steamed veggies. Yum.
They don't have a website...but heres a link with their address, phone and a strange and poorly scanned version of their menu. Check them out.