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The great pancake race

Shrove Tuesday will always seem like the best day of the year for a fully fledged pancake party. But now you're eating pancakes all year round, what's to stop you holding a pancake race whenever you feel like it?


Mark out the area where you're going to race - it could be your garden, a nearby park or field, or, with the schools permission, a school playground.

As well as start/finish line, you'll need a couple of obstacles for people to run around and markers to show them where to toss their pancake.

You can hang up strings of bunting or banners. This instantly gets people in the mood for racing.

You can even put a string of bunting up across the race track - you go under, and the pancake has to go over.

You'll only need one pancake per team to race with (tip: make extra thick 'racing pancakes' - they'll be easier to toss and less likely to fall apart) but you're bound to work up an appetite, so make up a big make up a big batch of pancakes and keep them warm, ready to feast on as soon as the race is over.

Decide on a penalty for dropping the pancake - perhaps the racers just have to keep tossing the pancake until they get it right, or maybe they have to perform a forfeit.

Think about who is going to start the race and who’ll make sure the race runs according to the rules. Finally, how about a prize for the winning team? Or maybe they get to be the ones who get to tuck in first.

The race itself:

Divide the number of pancakes into teams - they can be as big as you like.

Give the first person a frying pan containing a pancake, and either an apron or a chef's hat to wear.

When the whistle blows, the first member of each team runs down the course, round the first post, tosses the pancake (successfully), runs to the end of the course, circles another post, tosses the pancake again and then runs back for home.

They then pass the hat and the frying pan to the next member of the team. Finally, an most importantly, at the end of the race, get your (hot) plate of pancakes out of the oven and devour them immediately, with a choice of everyone's favourite on hand.

And remind yourself you shouldn't wait another year before you cook pancakes again.

You can read more about pancake races, and many recipes besides in my 'River Cottage Family Cookbook', just visit the River Cottage online shop, here on the website.

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You will need:

Frying pan for each team

Posts, or obstacles for teams to run around

Tape for finishing line



Strings of bunting

Aprons or paper chef’s hats

This recipe is taken from...