Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The original Super Tuesday

Yes, yes, it's the big primary/caucus extravaganza. I've been glued to the unfolding results. No joke. We have us quite a race here, eh? And yes, yes, it's also Mardi Gras. Never been, but you know we have the beads.

But really, what today REALLY is, in my little white ethnic world, is Faschnacht Day. How does this sound?

"Fasnachts, Fastnachts or Faschnachts are a fatty doughnut treat served traditionally on Fastnacht Day, the day before Lent starts. Fasnachts were produced as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat and butter, which were forbidden during Lent. Some English-speaking Protestants tend to refer to the day as Shrove Tuesday, and many consume pancakes as an alternative." (from Wikipedia)

Not just a donut! A fatty donut! Life was good in my rural Pennsylvania Dutch elementary school, yall. Faschnachts all around! Made by someone's mother, no doubt. Not my own, she being horrified at being transplanted from the midwest to the godforsaken Pennsylvania Dutch heartland. She still won't eat scrapple. I think she is horrified that she has children who do. We don't discuss it much.

But I digress (I have always wanted to say that). Seriously, Faschnacht Day was a big party day, and we marked it every year in school with some heritage education of some sort. I don't think I remembered about the Lent thing until I looked it up just now, but there you have it, the spotty memory of a child drugged by fresh homemade donuts.

Here is a recipe, borrowed from Cooks.com. I just like to read it through and savor the words. Not to make them, which would surely get me kicked out of Seattle and anyway what would I do with 5 dozen faschnachts? And yall, some recipes call for adding mashed potatoes to the dough.

FASCHNACHT LICHEN

2 c. scalded milk, cooled

1/2 c. sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 oz. yeast in cakes

2 eggs

1/4 c. butter, melted

5 to 7 c. flour

Mix ingredients with wooden spoon. Add flour to make a dough, not too stiff. Cover and let rise to double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again. Roll out to 3/4 inch. Cut to round donut (use glass or donut cutter without hole). Cover and let rise again. Fry in deep fat until golden brown, 375 degrees. Turn once. Total time about 3 minutes. Drain on brown paper and roll in granulated sugar. Makes about 5 dozen donuts.

This is an old Pennsylvania Dutch recipe. Faschnacht Day is Shrove Tuesday and everyone eats Faschnachts on that day. Eat them all up as they are not as good the next day.

15 comments:

bubandpie said...

Even in Canada, I'm not immune to the excitement. Somehow over the last 24 hours I've tilted in favour of Obama, but that could change at any time. It's an exciting race!

see you there! said...

***Fasnachts were produced as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat and butter***

Hey, I'm always for the idea of using what your have. Then there's the whole waste-not-want-not thing so I'd have to eat them. What's a girl to do? LOL!

Darla

Mrs. G. said...

Yum. Melt in your mouth yum.

Kellan said...

I have never had a fasnachts - but I want a plate full of them right now thankyouverymuch!!! Sound delicious. Take care and see you soon. Kellan

Anne-Marie said...

"Mardi gras" has a similar origin (before it became about parades and beads). It is the day before Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent). It was the last day to eat fatty sugary foods (hence "Fat Tuesday") before fasting during Lent. I don't remember eating specific foods for that occasion when I was growing up, I think I would have liked those fatty donuts...

Melanie said...

I was glued to the TV all night, until the bitter end. Some fatty, fatty donuts would have been a nice accompaniment.

ellen said...

I think that Seattle (and here, probably Eugene) needs to just close their collective eyes, or "get a life". It is important to take care when over indulging in certain things, but my goodness.
I may be misquoting, but didn't Julia Child say that if you are afraid of butter, try cream? Who lived a more robust and joyful life than she?
As to politics, I'm hopeful, but fear seems to be creeping in. It's hard to keep that little flame alive in view of what we've been experiencing with "you know who".

Day Dreamer said...

I'm so tired from staying up to watach the coverage, and the extended coverage and the super late extende coverage!!!

Oh you know I'm going to have to make those on one of my 'comfort' days. (Usually from October thru December..lol...)

Grandy said...

Ok...the fact that you've "always wanted to say 'but I digress'" means you're way ahead of me.

I always want a snack when I come here. ;)

JCK said...

I had me some pancakes last night as a matter of fact. We sat around eating our Fasnachts and watching the primary results coming in. Great stuff!

Sorry to hear that you eat scrapple?? What is that exactly? Scrabble with apples?

Mary Alice said...

Acckkkk....I wish I had read this earlier, I would have made them. We're boring old Episcopalians that eat pancakes!

Bananas said...

I just want me a FATTY DONUT!!!!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Oh! Yum!

Claire B. said...

One of my employees was lamenting that nobody else knew what she was talking about when she announced it was Fasnacht Day. Clearly, we were all raised by wolves who didn't love us.

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