Archive for Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pancakes bring fellowship

February 29, 2012

This Saturday, March 3, will be a very busy time for me and my fellow members of the Edwardsville Kiwanis Club. We will be holding our annual pancake day fundraiser from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. at the Bonner Springs High School cafeteria. While I won’t guarantee a gourmet meal, I will tell you that you will have a good breakfast, with all you can eat, along with good fellowship. Beyond that you will be helping a good cause since all the proceeds go to the club’s local scholarship fund. Yes, it is a win-win situation for everyone.

Well, actually that may not be true for the club members. Since serving starts at 7 a.m., most of us arrive shortly after 6 a.m. Even for a club of predominately retired guys, that is an early call. We have to have everything set up, pancakes on the griddle and the coffee ready. Bud Hendricks is chairperson for the event aided by Art Eickhoff. My role will be different this year since I don’t get around as well. I will probably be at the front table, taking money and greeting arrivals. No, there is nothing to fear from my lack of culinary skills. We have some members who are excellent cooks that handle the kitchen duties.

I’m a big fan of pancake days and other fund-raising events. I recently attended the Boy Scout Troop 149 pancake breakfast and I had a good time. I believe that food-based fundraising events are the best way to make money for worthwhile causes. They certainly are a part of the fabric which makes small-town living enjoyable.

I am a veteran of many, many pancake days. The first one I worked at was with the Mulvane Lions Club. We held the event to coincide with the opening of hunting season. I also worked at the pancake day for the Carrollton, Mo., Lions Club. I always went to the Basehor Kiwanis event which was usually held in November. I guess you could say I’m a pancake day fund-raiser junkie. In almost all cases, my main talent was removing dishes from the tables or cleaning up. Pancake fundraisers provide fun for those attending and for those of us who work, in my opinion.

The tradition of pancake breakfasts started due to the observance of Groundhogs Day in February. However, in many areas of central and western Kansas, the opening of hunting season was a good reason to have a public event. In the case of the Kiwanis Club, as with many other charitable organizations, almost everything is donated so it is a relatively easy way to benefit community service projects.

One of the reasons given why pancakes are served before the start of Lent is that excess flour was used so it didn’t require storage for six weeks. Probably the most famous pancake-based event is the annual Shrove Tuesday pancake flipping race between the women of Liberal, Kan., and Olney, England. The event has been held for more than six decades.

Certainly pancakes are a very ancient food. Several sources I found stated that some forms of pancakes are pre-historic. Possibly, pancake-type foods were among the first grain-based baked delicacy.

Certainly, the pancake was a staple in England before the New World was discovered. A culinary transcript dating from the 1430s contains a recipe for pancakes. The word pancake was derived from the Greek name for a frying pan. Pancakes are also known as griddlecakes, hotcakes and flapjacks.

The best thing about pancake events is that they almost always raise funds for a worthwhile project. I know that the money raised at the Edwardsville Kiwanis event has provided a bit of help for many local young people as they start college.

Tickets for Saturday’s event are priced at $5 each and are available at the door or from any Kiwanis Club member.

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