Happy Pancake Tuesday! I’ve already posted about pancakes previously, so I’ll just let the above picture do the talking. 🙂 Let it never be said I don’t provide a feast when it comes to pancakes! We had crepes tonight with all kinds of fillings – my three courses were 1) Bacon, Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil, 2) Pears, Pecans and Brie, and 3) Nutella and Vanilla Ice Cream.
Wow. I am stuffed!
It’s a nice tradition, Pancake Tuesday, not that I need an extra excuse to make this favourite meal! I’ve always enjoyed the Lenten traditions in general though, and Easter is probably my second favourite holiday to Christmas. I used to love taking in the Ash Wednesday service at Christ Church Cathedral on Monument Circle in Indianapolis, a tradition I miss even though there are countless places to receive my “smudge” here. I also adored having Easter brunch buffet with my family in Montana, usually at The Gallatin Gateway Inn, Chico Hot Springs or Looie’s Downunder… I’ve never found anywhere in Ireland that does a good brunch, at least not the way we Americans do it!
But there are parts of Lent that are equally special here. I’m so interested in hearing about what people are giving up. Most people I know are giving up all sweets for Lent. Some are giving up alcohol, smoking or coffee (!). One cool thing I witnessed just today is the active command of doing a good deed every day of Lent. A woman came into Traders and secretly paid for the food and drinks at the table next to hers, just as her good deed! It felt so warm, so genuine – it made us all smile, and made me feel like paying it forward.
Then, of course there’s Easter itself, which here entails a massive big meal at the Kelly’s, complete with chicken, ham, potatoes of different variations, and many things besides. The chief confection in Ireland at Easter is not jelly beans, Peeps, or chocolate bunnies, but rather, giant chocolate eggs, most of which come from Cadburys!
Totally unrelated to Lent is the other March 8 holiday, one we Americans hardly acknowledge (or maybe don’t even know about?!) – International Women’s Day! It’s actually quite a big deal in some parts of Europe and Asia! A lady from Russia was telling me today that she would usually have the day off and get special treatment from family and friends, just for being a woman! I like the sound of that! 🙂
More importantly, though, the day is used as one to highlight the injustices women have suffered through history and continue to suffer in many parts of the world. I recall the first time I heard of International Women’s Day, when I was on a cultural trip to Italy during my senior year of college at Anderson University. A couple of my classmates and I came across a piazza full of colourful flags in Rome, and upon further inspection, we saw that each flag bore then name of a woman who was currently enslaved somewhere in the world. It was quite moving, and still reminds me daily how important it is to continue the fight for human rights and justice for all people around this crazy planet we live on.
So there you go – I hope wherever you are, you’re doing a good deed or two and treating the women you love to some mighty fine pancakes. 🙂