As you may know, Shrove Tuesday marks the beginning of Lent, the traditional Christian period of fasting. We eat pancakes to use up our reserves of butter, milk, flour, eggs, baking powder, salt, maple syrup, lemon, sugar and bacon; foods all traditionally banned during the fasting season. Today, nobody bothers fasting, but many Christians continue to gorge themselves on pancakes on this, one of the most holy days of the year.

We at Rum and Monkey applaud this portly celebration of food and excess, but fully realise how few Americans are aware they can make the thin pan-based carbohydrate dish themselves, within the comfort of their own homes. Homemade pancakes are always the best, except when they've deliberately been cooked to slowly poison you, and for this reason we advise you to follow our easy recipe.

You will require:

Eggs. (6 large.) Many people believe eggs to be some sort of chicken product. In fact, this is not the case; eggs are usually made with corn starch and escargot shelling. Sometimes a portion of bacon rind is added to the yolk in order to provide the characteristic yellow colour; this is why they are called "eggs".

Milk. (Cow's; some.) Buttermilk can be included if you want your pancakes to taste like repulsive, vomitous ming, or if you live in Texas.

Flour. (A billion tons.) Flour is the lifeblood of the pancake. It pulses through its veins, pumped by its almighty pancake heart. Who are you to deny life to anything so sublime?

The glory of God. (8 oz.) Note that this was traditionally required in olden times, and can now be safely replaced with an otter, or some kind of lizard if it is more convenient. Notice that the glory of Dog, although a humorous pun often used by canine pet owners, is not suitable for inclusion in a pancake. Unless you're Divine in Pink Flamingos.

Baking powder. (Tablespoon.) The rising of the pancakes is intended to signify Jesus rising again from his stony tomb at Easter. Baking powder is required, as is the case with most holy miracles and cakes.

Salt. (Teaspoon.) Put salt in everything. And kill your mother while you're at it.

Butter. (Great big lardy wodge, preferably resembling Kevin Spacey from the right angle.) Look, if we didn't use butter, we'd have to grease things up another way. And trust me, I know from experience, you don't want that. Lawsuits are pending.

You will do:

Take all the flour, all the eggs, all the salt, baking powder and milk, and shove them into a bowl. Place the bowl on the floor.

Take off your shoes and socks, placing them in a safe location where no-one will get hurt. Stand in the bowl and mix the ingredients around between your toes, until the mixture reaches the consistency of tepid, muddy water. Sing, if you would like. Incidentally, while some would argue that clean feet are a necessity, dermatological fungus is actually a welcome extra taste, and will help absorb some of the butter.

If you do not have athlete's foot, you must now leave the mixture to sit for an hour or two. This will allow the pancakes to gain a rubbery texture, and in limited cases their own customs and society. You must promise to immediately throw the mixture out if the pancake develops a theory of National Socialism. Never again!

Take a skillet or frying pan, and a helpful neighbour. Place the neighbour in a box. Take the wodge of butter and melt it carefully across the cooking surface, until Kevin Spacey's face has melted into a yellowy pool of distorted silent scream. Tell him to pay that forward.

When the butter is bubbling merrily, poor the pancake mixture over it, in an inverse spiral. Chant. If purple clouds materialise over your house, like some kind of chemical reaction in a basin of water, you have summoned Satan. Chant something else. Maybe My Heart Will Go On or something by Daphne and Celeste. If the pancake does not dry, turn on the heat. If the pancake tears itself off the stove and runs away, stop singing. You suck.

Once the pancake has turned a golden colour, run someone else's finger around the edge and give it a good shake. Then shake the pancake. You will find, if the pancake is hot enough, that it will break free of its cooking surface - if this is the case, you can flip it over to the other side like some kind of floury social revolution. Do not have a summer of love with your pancake. Instead, flip it onto a plate and cover it with a pan lid for warmth. Pancakes need warmth, although shivering pancakes are spineless and should not be considered good enough to eat.

Repeat this process ad infinitum, or until you run out of time. You can then serve them to any number of willing or imprisoned participants, with a variety of delicious condiments. Maple syrup is the traditional American variety, while the British eat their pancakes with lemon and sugar. (This is one reason why their teeth are so bad.) However, you can try any topping you choose; more pancakes is a popular option among obese households, while many gay people enjoy them with love and rainbows. No matter what you choose, it's sure to be delicious! Unless you choose wrong.

Finally, take the neighbour out of its box and stamp repeatedly on its face. Congratulations, you have made pancakes!