Pancake Supper Survival Guide

“Remember that this is a holy act of servanthood that you are performing as you help your fellow Christians prepare for Lent. God be with you!”




It’s Around the Corner…
You agreed in a pre-pageant haze to take over this year’s Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. Lent seemed so far away… Now it’s around the corner. You know people will show up, hungry. You know you have volunteers. What you don’t know is how to turn on the church oven.

Breathe. You can do this; We can help. Through Building Faith we have experts to offer wisdom for just such occasions. Consider this a BTDT article… which of course stands for “Been There, Done That.”

Pancake Supper Printables
For any pancake supper, it helps to have something on the table to remind guests about the meaning of the event. Check out the following items: a hilarious and informative Shrove Tuesday placemat created by Mary Beth Abplanalp for their supper at Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Next, a Shrove Tuesday tri-fold created by Gail Jackins at St. Cuthbert in Houston. Feel free to use or adapt these, and please credit the author.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Placemat pdf

Shrove Tuesday & Lent Tri-fold pdf

11 Pancakes Tips from a Pro
From the pancake master himself, we have eleven tried and true tips for success in the pancake kitchen. David McCullough’s experience cooking pancakes for a crowd comes from years of preparing breakfasts at a Quaker youth camp. He assures us that the theory and execution of cooking for 75 is the same as for 200.

1. Use electric griddles, not a stovetop. Three or four griddles at least, and try for as many as you can get. Each griddle will produce eight to ten pancakes at a time.

2. Figure three to five pancakes per person. Err on the side of more. Can you have too many pancakes??

3. Prepare pancake batter ahead of time; it can be refrigerated. Use a whisk and a light touch. Over-mixed pancakes are dry and tough. If the first pancakes do not rise enough, sift a little more baking powder over the batter and gently stir in.

4. Thaw breakfast meats ahead of time. Enough said.

5. Heat your griddles 30-40 minutes before the doors open. You want them hot – 375˚. Start on your pancakes as soon as the griddles are ready. Feed your helpers first! The first batch won’t look that good, and feeding your helpers is good for morale!

6. Breakfast meats should be cooked about an hour before the doors open. They can be kept hot in aluminum pans covered with foil in a 250˚ oven.

7. Cooking your ‘cakes. A ladle is the best way to ensure same-size pancakes and ease of pouring. A half cup ladle is perfect. Flip your pancakes when there are popped bubbles over the entire surface of the pancake. Only flip them once. Pancakes can be kept hot in a foil pan in a 250˚ oven.

8. Assign your volunteers. One pancake cook for 2 griddles. One or two “runners” to refill pancake batter, replenish drinks, bacon, etc. One experienced (calm and friendly) person to oversee the kitchen.

9. Determine your “front of the house” setup. At some churches youth serve as waiters and waitresses (Mission trip fundraiser, anyone?). Others have self-serve buffets. And still others do family style with platters on each table.

10. Clean up. Think carefully about your options: disposable makes for quick work. China and glassware create a different feel and are more ecologically sound (but also make for lots of dishes).

11. Finally, a checklist:
– Syrup in individual bottles, regular and sugar free
(One regular for each table, one sugar free for every three tables)
– Drinks
– Pancake mix and ingredients
– Breakfast meats
– Spray oil
– Butter/margarine
– Napkins, plates, cups, forks, and knives
– Trash bags
– Paper towels
– Kitchen spray (for cleaning)
– Dish soap and sponge (for washing)
– Pitchers or coolers for water/drinks

The Big Picture
Remember that this is a holy act of servanthood that you are performing as you help your fellow Christians prepare for Lent. God be with you!


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