Shrove tuesday

Pile them high: inventive toppings for pancake day

Next Tuesday the banal humdrum of lockdown life will be interrupted, however briefly. No longer the sad, soggy Weetabix while listening to the daily hospitalisation numbers or Special K eaten at your makeshift desk. No, even if just for a couple of hours, next Tuesday is an opportunity to block out the Outlook calendar and have some fun in the kitchen. Shrove Tuesday. Pancake Day. It’s a funny old thing. We don’t have a celebratory day dedicated to trifle or sticky toffee pudding (though we should). Of course there’s logic to our scoffing our faces with pancakes on this day preceding Lent—it was traditionally the way to use up rich

Semlor buns: a Scandi treat for Shrove Tuesday

In Britain, we mark the beginning of Lent with pancakes. Although nowadays relatively few of us strictly observe the Lenten dietary traditions which prohibit the eating of dairy and meat in the lead up to Easter, we happily leap on the annual opportunity to eat breakfast for dinner: sales of lemons and caster sugar soar, and we delight in filling ourselves full of pancakes. But pancakes are not the only Lenten final hurrah: the semla bun is the Scandinavian favourite. Following the same logic as pancakes, the buns are designed to eat up the dairy ingredients which would have been prohibited by Lent religious laws.  Semlor buns (semlor is the