Why Pancake Day is better than Valentine’s Day
This coming week sees two very important dates in the diary, Valentine’s Day, and, Pancake Day, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday. Now, for the record, I’d love to be one of these impossibly cool people who didn’t give two hoots about Valentine’s Day, but I do. And not for the the dozen red roses (personally, I am not a fan of roses), and not for the romantic meal for two (inevitably a hideous set menu, crammed in together with arguing couples and cantankerous staff). but for the sentiment that somewhere, deep down, amongst all the red fluffery and frippery, is hidden. But having thought about it, at the end of the day, I really do prefer Pancake Day, and here’s just why.
Tossing the pancake. If you’ll pardon the expression. Even our lovely Duchess is at it. Tossing the pancake, is one of those obscure traditions that I’m sure no-one’s really sure how it started. But started it did, and fond memories of pancakes falling apart, pancakes on the floor, pancakes on the ceiling are common. Or perhaps that’s just my family. Two days later, on Valentine’s Day, running through the streets of London, a frying pan in hand and tossing a pancake, would not quite have the same impact. In fact, it may get you arrested.
For every super-cheesy, super-flashy, and yes, super-annoying “loved-up” couple on Valentine’s Day, there’s an unhappy person. And that unhappy person is not necessarily the one not in a relationship. The pressure of Valentine’s Day inevitably leads to disappointment. Just like New Year’s Eve whilst I think about it. People are only to too happy to sit you down and tell you exactly why they hate Valentine’s Day in great detail, and to tell you all about how their good for nothing boyfriend (or girlfriend – we are after all, living in an age of equality) didn’t even get them a poxy card. This doesn’t happen on Pancake Day. You aren’t relaid with tales of why Pancake Day is just about the worst day of the year, and just why they had the most terrible Pancake’s Day ever. Because hey, it just doesn’t happen, and it’s all the better for it.
Pancakes itself. Perhaps the only time in the year when we make pancakes, and every single Pancake Day, I always wonder why. Is there anything better with a pancake? So delicious and you seem to inherit the ability to eat at least six. And a half. Now as for the toppings, I am a stickler for tradition, you can keep your chocolate sauce, the humble lemon and sugar is undoubtedly the best. Oh, and golden syrup at an absolute push. You don’t have pancakes on Valentine’s Day. No, you inevitably tricked into eating some horrendously sickly chocolate pudding, and afterwards, having regretted your choice, try to surreptitiously knock back cups of peppermint tea as you fight of indigestion. Romantic.
For quite some time before the 14th February, people will inevitably ask you, “so, what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?”. One year, I answered with the truth. “Getting in a Dominos and a bottle of Prosecco”. People want to hear grand plans, being taken to Paris plans whilst in a shroud of rose petals, and when the truth doesn’t quite match up to their expectations, there is a sense of disappointment. This just does not happen on Pancake Day. You seldom even get people asking you what your plans are for Pancakes Day – it’s usually quite obvious – and if you do dare to say “nothing”, well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
So what do you think? Which day do you prefer?