"Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little grey house made of logs.
The great, dark trees of the Big Woods stood all around the house, and beyond them were other trees and beyond them were more trees. As far as a man could go to the north win a day, or week, or a whole month, there was nothing but woods. There were no houses, There were no roads. There were no people. There were only trees and the wild animals who had their homes among them..."
This is the beginning of a wonderful 'Little House' series of children's books about the life of a pioneer family in the Wild West written in the 1930s-1940s by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was describing her own childhood experiences and that's what makes the books especially interesting to read. They are full of humour, many little stories inside the main story and many details of how people lived in that harsh environment: how they celebrated different holidays, how they made maple syrup, what they ate and how they had fun.
There is no account of what they did for Shrove Tuesday, but there is a description of how their mother made pancakes on other days:
"... For breakfast there were pancakes, and Ma made a pancake man for each one of the children. Ma called each one in turn to bring her plate, and each could stand by the stove and watch, while with the spoonful of batter Ma put on the arms and the legs and the head. It was exciting to watch her turn the whole little man over, quickly and carefully, on a hot griddle. When it was done, she put it smoking hot on the plate ..."
I personally found it quite inspirational and for several years while my kids were little made them animal-shaped pancakes.
My name is Elena Rafaelevna Watson, I have been teaching English as a foreign language for over 25 years now. I have also been translating and interpreting (English/Russian) for over 20 years.