Falling between Friday’s ceremonial first tap and the upcoming Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, Shrove Tuesday offers up an ideal opportunity to throw some pancakes on the griddle and smother them in sticky goodness.Though the current deep-freeze has the flowing sap on hold, there’ll undoubtedly be a few bottles of syrup available in the run-up to March 4 as people get into the spirit of the event also known as Pancake Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and, in French, Mardi Gras. Among those joining in will be Elmira’s Trinity United Church, offering up a pancake lunch on Sunday.
“Following worship we will have a pancake lunch …it’s pancakes and sausages,” said Trinity’s Susan Beinarovics.
Opening up the lunch to the public is something the organizers try to do every year, she noted.
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This begs the question, are the pews just a little bit fuller on the Sunday before Pancake Day?
“Oh, usually if we have food more people show up, yes,” she laughed.
Shrove Tuesday precedes Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, in many Christian religions, a 40-day fasting period which leads up to Easter. The day gives those who observe (and many who don’t) a chance to expand their waistlines a little by eating hearty foods in preparation for a time of abstention.
The association with pancakes comes from the food’s richness in eggs, butter and – with the addition of the sticky stuff – sugar. In many cultures fasting amounts to refraining from foods that give pleaser such as sweets, meats and dairy.
Trinity’s worship committee and youth group are going to be flipping the flap jacks that day and this year the youth have taken some more initiative.
“They’ve always helped out but this is the first time they’ve taken a leadership role in it,” Beinarovics said.
Worship finishes between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and that’s when the public can join for the meal at 21 Arthur St. N. Free-will offerings are welcome.