Today is Pancake Tuesday for many Catholics. Its history comes from the final chance for housewives to use up all the butter and fat and syrups and sugars in the house before the long Lenten fast. The kitchen is ready for the coming battle against our earthly and indulged appetites, to intensify and purify our desire for His Coming.
Don't Jewish people hide a little hanky-wrapped piece of matzoh after they've cleaned the house of foods forbidden during Passover? The child who finds it gets a prize. Look at the similar sensibility (and the same season even); they purify their house to be ready for the feast of remembrance and praise.
So tonight I'll go home and have a little look around for any leftover penance foods. If I find any, I'll just have to (sigh) eat them.
Happy Shrove Tuesday!