It’s almost that time of the year again, when we dine for the solemn religious observance that is Shrove Tuesday. I must admit, my family was not so big on all the traditional Christian rituals, we only celebrated Easters and Christmas. But, recently, I had the urge to create a warm home full of traditions and since I am straddling between the African tradition and Church, I am not short of any traditions to imitate and/or revamp.
I am so excited about the mix-masalas I’m going to make from my cupboards for Shrove Tuesday, I have become quite a creative cook.
Pancakes will obviously be the talk of the day at my house – I actually haven’t made Pancakes in a long time.
While I am excited about all the food I am going to make, it’s also important to note that Shrove Tuesday is not only about food, but a deeper spiritual observance for Christians. For those who may not know, Shrove Tuesday is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday; It is the first day of Lent. It’s a day of penitence, to clean the soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before Lent begins. But there’s more to Shrove Tuesday.
Originally, this ritual got its name from the ritual of shriving which Christians used to undergo in the past. In shriving, a person confesses their sins and receives absolution for them. When a person receives absolution for their sins, they are forgiven for them and released from the guilt and pain that they have caused them.
This is in the Catholic or Orthodox context, where the absolution is pronounced by a priest and quite frankly, this tradition is very old. So, I am revamping it in my house. I want to make it more of a celebration with a twist. At a given time, each person who has come to the feast will get an opportunity to write down the sins they want to work on in their lives, or even bad habits that lead to sin. Each person will then write down how they want to change that habit, as in what they are willing to give up for the next 40 days in order to clear their souls.
So, some ideas I am thinking for my dinner are;
- Pancakes and roasted fruits (Desert)
- Iced Tea (My recipe will be Rooibos, ground ginger, lemon, Watermelon and sugar)
- Mixed Vegetables with lentils
- Whatever else my guests are bringing!