Put that Nutella back in the cupboard and eat it with a spoon tomorrow – stop trying to ruin Pancake Day.
Not that Nutella on pancakes is Bad. It’s actually Good. So are most thing on pancakes tbh, because pancakes are inherently delicious. I’m not some sort of pancake fascist, you can put whatever you want on them.
Just not on Pancake Day. On Pancake Day, as you pick yourself up from your desk at precisely 5.03pm – just late enough that it doesn’t look like you’ve been counting down the minutes until you could fuck off since you finished your lunch four hours ago – and that one overly chatty colleague you spend what feels like hours every day just uncomfortably smiling and nodding at asks you: “So what are you having on your pancakes tonight then, mate?”, there is only one answer – lemon and sugar. You’re having lemon and sugar on your pancakes tonight, because it’s Pancake Day, and it’s the only topping which makes sense.
Why is this? For the answer to that, we have to think about – to remember – what Pancake Day is all about. Pancakes, yeah, but more specifically – eating loads and loads of them – eating a ludicrous amount of pancakes as some kind of twisted challenge to yourself. It’s about that time you were 12 and managed to eat 16 in one sitting, the most in your class, and spent the day next at school feeling like a king. It’s about the time you were 25 and did the same thing, but told no one because you were really quite ashamed, if you’re honest, and yet did you regret it? Not one little bit.
So it’s all about being smart – you’re not going to be able to maximise your pancake potential by filling them with strawberries and chocolate spread, or ham and cheese, or stacks and stacks of maple syrup-soaked bacon. Your friends go for brunch all the time now, so you can have these things every weekend if you want. Today, you just need the simple lemon and sugar – no extra mass.
Obviously you’ll be using British pancakes too, because American pancakes on Shrove Tuesday are an abomination. A nice, flat British pancake, sprinkled with a thin covering of sugar, then squeeze the lemon on top so you get that satisfying feeling of seeing the little granules dissolve into it. Roll it up, go to town on it, make another. Then like 10 more. Then probably another couple after that.
If you’re not convinced that Pancake Day should be about excess – if you’re happy with your one or two overly decadent, topping-rich pancakes – then think about what all other British holidays are for. What did you do on Christmas? You had three helpings of Christmas dinner, which somehow included 10 pigs in blankets, and then ate all the green triangles out of the Quality Street tin. What’s Easter for if not eating an entire one of those medium-sized Cadbury chocolate eggs for breakfast and then several Creme Eggs sporadically throughout the afternoon? British holidays are all about excess for the sake of it, eating far too many of things for for no reason other than that you kind of feel you can – and that’s why on Pancake Day, lemon and sugar is your only friend.