How Towel Flipping Holds The Key To The Perfect Pancake Stack

13 thoughts on “How Towel Flipping Holds The Key To The Perfect Pancake Stack”

  1. Its a flipping conundrum ! I remember Pancake Races from my childhood in the UK and wonder if Pancake make-up got its name from being slapped on with one hand whilst wielding a skillet with the other . The equation brings to mind recent research into how often a dropped piece of toast lands buttered side down. Dog owners will never know !

    1. I should have gone with that as a title! I wondered about that too, Paul, the name that is. It really does not make sense, but the etymology just doesn’t reference anything that was anything but hear say.

      Out of curiosity, how often does a buttered side down piece of toast hit the ground?

  2. I love this post – a story about flipping pancakes and the number of towels? I used to love Pancake Tuesday as a child. I really don’t think we had them any other day of the year. The photo you use is gorgeous. Hope you enjoy them this year.

  3. You lost me as soon as you mentioned “n”, but I enjoyed the rest of your essay. I don’t see how the equation accounts for the variable of there being a different number of different sized pancakes in each stack — but there’s a reason I went to law school and not med school. What am I missing??

    1. Not being a mathematician as well, I couldn’t get it to start with… still struggling now, but apparently it does work; my cousin who is a lecturer at math at Stanford says so. I leave it to him.

  4. I never knew why pancakes were traditionally served on Shrove Tuesday…and come to think of it, I didn’t know that eggs and milk weren’t supposed to be eaten during Lent. What DID they eat for those 40 days? Not that this has anything to do with math….

    1. Well, Sharon, this blog is about tenuous links; the story side is there to give you more than just the etymology of pancakes, something else to get your teeth into. What did people eat in the 40 days, mainly vegetables as they were in season and local meats if they could afford it.

  5. Just the other day our local radio station was wondering and debating why IHOP (International House of Pancakes) has free pancakes on Mardi Gras. I wish I had read this before then. Oh well, at least now I know what I’m making for dinner tonight!

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