Shrove Tuesday is a traditional Christian feast day, celebrated all over the world for several centuries. Everybody loves a good pancake, not least because they're the perfect food for using up all your excess milk, butter and eggs before the 40-day fast of Lent begins. But be warned. Frying pancakes on Shrove Tuesday may endanger both you and your family. Because pancakes can kill. Take heed, citizen.
Planning your Shrove Tuesday menu: First of all, ask yourself do you really want to cook pancakes? Sure they taste yummy and sweet, but think too of all the vein-clogging that lies ahead. Wouldn't it be better to forego these stodgy batter treats this year and plump for a healthier meal instead? Perhaps a nice carrot, or a some tasty salad, or even a crunchy Ryvita biscuit. The Food Standards Agency is already in negotiations with the Church of England to have today renamed either Pineapple Day or Coconut Tuesday. Wish us luck.
Preparing the ingredients: Pancakes are made using a very simple recipe, requiring minimal preparation. But have you considered the nutritional advantages of replacing some of the ingredients with a healthier alternative? Instead of ordinary plain flour, try brown rice flour - it's full of bowel-loosening fibre. Instead of full-fat milk, slim down to the tasteless skimmed stuff. Instead of butter, use a low-lipid salt-free vegetable oil or margarine. And instead of eggs, acknowledge the undoubted benefits of a soft paste made from hummus and aubergine. Shop carefully - it could save your life.
Cooking the pancakes: You never can be too careful when cooking pancakes. Do not under any circumstances leave your children alone in the kitchen with a big non-stick frying pan, in case they sneak this vicious weapon outdoors and use it to initiate murderous street violence. And do not under any circumstances flip too vigorously when tossing your pancakes, in case one sticks to the ceiling and you end up falling off a stepladder while trying to retrieve it. Always complete a full risk assessment before attempting to initiate in-house pancake generation.
Garnishing your pancakes: A squeeze or two of lemon on your pancake is a good thing (and, in large enough doses, counts as one of your five daily servings of fruit and vegetables). But don't be tempted to use artificial Jif from a yellow plastic receptacle because this contains several spoonfuls of evil carbohydrate. And don't sprinkle extra sugar over your pancakes either, because there's already enough sugar in that maple syrup you've just smothered everywhere, and your teeth will surely rot, and all your local NHS dentists have already run out of money this financial year. Plain is best.
Eating your pancakes: Don't. Just don't. It was a lot of fun cooking them, but don't under any circumstances allow these fat-filled concoctions to enter your digestive system. You might as well just roll up each pancake and insert it down a major artery. Sorry, not even running in one of those pancake-flipping race events will expend sufficient calories to cancel out a batter-bloated stomach. So play safe, and just chuck the lot in the bin. Oh go on then, maybe just one pancake. But if your waistline expands and you drop dead seconds afterwards, don't say we didn't warn you.
Please note that other religions are available - many of which only promote feast days based on the principles of healthy eating. When selecting a religion for your family always consider the importance of nourishing the soul via a fully sustainable diet regime - preferably not including pancakes, chocolate eggs or (especially) roast turkey.