Celebrate Shrove Tuesday in time honoured tradition at a Pancake Day races.
There are a number of races across London today, and here are three of the biggest
Perhaps you could organise a race at school or at home
The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race
Head down to Dray Walk for The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race, one of the most popular of all the Pancake Day London races.
An afternoon of fun and flipping is in store, with costumed racers (in teams of four) competing for the grand prize of an engraved frying pan.
Heats begin at 12.30pm and races will be run along Dray Walk at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.
The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race is organised by Alternative Arts in aid of the London Air Ambulance.
The event is free to attend.
Nearest tube: Shoreditch.
Poulters Company Pancake Races
Dozens of teams representing the livery companies of Guildhall will be running and tossing pancakes in a series of traditional Pancake Day races in the fifth annual Poulters Company Shrove Tuesday event.
Spectators are welcome to cheer on their favourite teams, with everyone from carriage drivers to chartered accountants competing for glory.
Heats will lead up to four separate finals, where teams of four will battle it out for a prize copper pancake pan. If watching all that running around works up your appetite, then there will also be fresh pancakes on sale.
Starts at 11am
Nearest tubes: Bank and St Pauls.
The event is free to attend.
For further information call 020 7620 1818.
The All Hallows Great Pancake Race
The All Hallows Great Pancake Race is guaranteed to be a grand affair, with teams of runners taking to the streets of London armed with pancakes and frying pans.
The event takes place opposite the Tower of London, promising traditional Shrove Tuesday fun in an historic London setting.
The race will be held at 1pm at Tower Terrace, opposite the Tower of London
Free to attend.
The event is being held by All Hallows Church.
Nearest tube: Tower Hill.
For further information call 020 7481 2928
Parliamentary Pancake Race
Taking place in Victoria Tower Gardens, the Parliamentary Pancake Race will see members of the Houses of Parliament racing against members of the press whilst carrying pans full of pancakes.
If you want to see whether the politicians are in for another grand battering at the hands of the press, and whether there are going to be more dirty tricks and racers getting tripped up by other competitors, the race starts at 10.15am and is free to watch.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN PANCAKE
Preparation time less than 30 mins
Cooking time less than 10 mins
For the pancake mixture:
110g/4oz sifted plain flour
pinch of salt
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
Remember to get help from an adult, especially when cooking the pancakes
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets a airing.
Break the eggs into the centre of the flour and begin whisking the eggs – any sort of whisk or even a fork will do – incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.
Gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk).
When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream.
Now get mummy or daddy to help cook the pancakes
They will need to melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan, and then spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in
They should then pour the rest of the butter into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before they make each pancake.
Tell them to get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter (2 tablespoons is about right for an 18cm/7in pan).
As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.
To serve, spinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.