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Catholic Recipe: Potato Pancakes I


  • 1 pound potatoes, pared, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk


Yield: 24 pancakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:11+

Origin: Ireland


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Also Called: Pancoigi Pratai

October 31 has a two-fold significance: it is the vigil of the feast of All Saints, and also one of the days on which in pre-Christian times wild masquerades were held in order to frighten the demons away at the approach of the dark evenings of winter.

As vigil of the feast of All Saints, October 31 traditionally was a day of strict fast and abstinence. This is still reflected in the traditional fare: the meals consist of meatless dishes, mostly made of potatoes.

In the countries of Europe that once belonged to the Roman Empire the custom has survived of eating or giving away apples and serving dishes made of apples. This tradition also spread to neighboring countries: to Ireland and Scotland from Britain, and to the Slavic nations from Austria and Bavaria. It seems to be based on the ancient Roman festival of Pomona, the goddess of orchards and fruits. Since the feast of Pomona was kept on November 1, this observance became part of our Halloween celebrations, such as the familiar custom of "ducking" for apples.


Combine potatoes, flour, salt, baking powder, milk. Mix well. Drop by tablespoons into oil in skillet. Cook slowly until golden brown on both sides. Place on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

Recipe Source: Catholic Cookbook, The by William I. Kaufman, The Citadel Press, New York, 1965