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Editor’s Corner: Pancake Day
Andrea Gutierrez new

As promised in an earlier column, your esteemed editor is now writing about her absolute favorite holiday this February: Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day to the layman).

I did some research on Shrove Tuesday for this week’s column, and I found out that the word “shrove” comes from the English verb “to shrive”, which refers to when a priest listens to someone’s confession of sinful acts, and offers penance, or absolution (forgiveness).

As proof that I took AP English Literature in high school (and got a 5, no less!), here is an example of how to use the word “shrive” in modern parlance.

Person A: Hey, buddy, want to go shrive? 

Person B: No way, man--I just shrove yesterday.

Shrove Tuesday is celebrated by a variety of Christians, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Methodists. The phrase “Pancake Day” is derived from the tradition of indulging in rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting that occurs during Lent, which starts the following day on Ash Wednesday. (It’s also where we get the phrase Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday”!) Many congregations host pancake breakfasts or dinners to celebrate Shrove Tuesday and to host penance services before Lent.

I love Shrove Tuesday because it satisfies my need to explain obscure words to people, as well as my constant desire to look for an excuse to eat pancakes. You can never go wrong with some classic buttermilk pancakes, although I recently found this Nutella pancake recipe on Youtube and it did not disappoint at all (my compliments to the Editor-in-”Chef”!).

Making pancakes can be a dramatic affair. The art of pancake flipping is a skill harnessed only by the most elite and talented among us, like Guy Fieri. While I was making Nutella pancakes with my family on Tuesday, one of my pancakes fell to the ground while I was flipping them. Immediately, we all called dibs on the pancake on the floor, displaying a truly Christian spirit of humility. (My Catholic guilt won out, and I ate the floor pancake. Please pray for my immune system).

The absolute worst thing about Shrove Tuesday, however, is forgetting to eat pancakes. You simply can’t make up for a missed Pancake Day by eating pancakes on Ash Wednesday--it defeats the purpose. Too many people will judge you, and you’ll look like a sinner.

However, I found a loophole: just learn how to make crêpes, which are essentially undercover pancakes. And if you add enough fruit to them, they can even be classified as “healthy.” You’re welcome, readers!

Editor’s Poem of the Week

In honor of Valentine’s Day, a holiday universally adored by chocolatiers and Adam Sandler’s agent, here is a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, one of my all-time favorite poets. I admire her wit and spirited progressivism that shines through in her sonnets and other lyric poems. Fun fact: Millay was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry back in 1923!

“Thursday” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

And if I loved you Wednesday, 

Well, what is that to you? 

I do not love you Thursday– So much is true. 

And why you come complaining 

Is more than I can see. 

I loved you Wednesday,–yes–but what 

Is that to me? 

Andrea Gutierrez is the editor of the Bryan County News

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