Tuesday, February 28, 2017

FASNACHTS DAY!


Today is Shrove Tuesday which originated during the Middle Ages as a day when food items like milk, lard, sugar, butter and eggs were to be consumed so they wouldn't spoil during the following forty days of Lent when Christians were expected to fast and pray.  In France, the consumption of all fats and fatty foods on this day coined the name "Fat Tuesday."  If your in England,  the tradition of serving pancakes to use the fatty goods gave way to Pancake Day.  In some South American countries, the day is associated with "Carnaval", a festival of dancing, drinking and debauchery, right up your Mistress's alley, but alas, I'm not there yet. Carnival, the English spelling of the word "carne lever" or "meat takeaway" has become another Lenten tradition.  For me, the day is known as Fasnacht Day.  The word "Fasnacht" is German, meaning "fast night," or the night before Ash Wednesday.  Every year, in my youth in Harrisburg, which is known as being in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country,  and which was settled primarily by German Americans, the Fasnacht is the king.

Fasnachts are made to use up lard, sugar, butter, eggs and other rich foods in the house before the austere diet of Lent begins.  The Fasnacht came from southern Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. A true Fasnacht is square without a hole in the center. I have to tell the Lad this every year as he confuses where is the hole? It's all about the hole to him I tell ya!!! I can still remember my grandmother at her church making tons of these with the other ladies and then opening the doors.  Today they tend to make them with the hole, since they fry more evenly, but if it has a hole, that's a donut to me, not a fasnacht!!!! It has no filling in it, but may come uncoated, dusted in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.  Are they tasty?  Will I eat one of the Fasnachts that I just bought....

 Well, I have too!!  I picked those up last night at the church up the road. After all, I was born in Harrisburg, the epicenter of the Fasnacht and today is Fasnacht Day.  Every store as well as farmer's markets will have them for sale today.  And, tradition says it will bring me good luck. And Yes, I will eat one. Or 4.....dunked in milk!  For, if I'm going to have to fast and pray for the next 40 days, God help us all!!!!And I love my traditions.

You may now start salivating........  

37 comments:

  1. Enjoy! I was just thinking of the wonderful fillings we could pump them up with.

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    1. If I had to fill them..... light and fluffy white crème filling for me.

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  2. Great, not I'm fasnachting hungry!

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  3. Fascinating info! A Fasnacht sounds very much like what we call a Dutchie here in Canada. Which makes sense if you think that the word Dutchie is probably an anglicization of Deutsch.

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    1. I saw your post today Debs. Did you over indulge too???

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  4. I have heard of this day, but never knew what it was about.....what a fun post. I must go find one on my morning break.

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  5. Happy Carnivale, Fasnacht, Fat Tuesday, or what ever one cares to call it. May you eat and drink well, and may you not get ill from overdoing any of it. Hugs!!!

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  6. That was very Fasnachtating. I have heard of Fat Tuesday, but I never knew the reason behind it. I don't think any of the local stores will have a true fasnacht, so I may have to settle for an apple fritter.

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    1. A fritter will work! It seems to be a more East coast and southern thing you ask me.

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  7. Now this is a,day I can get behind. And tour one of the few I believe who has heard of Fasnacht day. It most definitely brings back memories of my mother and grandparents. I will look for some when I go to the market today. Nice post today and keeping traditions alive.

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    1. When I take them into work, everyone always asks what in hell is Fasnacht Day!?! And every year I explain it again. But they eat them!!!!

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  8. "It's all about the hole to him I tell ya!!!" - bwhahahahaha! hole-y cow!

    I don't give up anything - why the hell should I!

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    1. He odes manage at times to get a hole in one!!!!

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  9. Here in NEPA, as a child I went to a now defunct Polish church. On the Sunday before Ash Wednesday they held the paczkovy ball. Paczki is Polish for doughnut. It's pronounced paunch-key. So, before the start of Lent a ball would be held featuring homemade doughnuts, an orchestra and dancing. Hence, the name Paczkovy Ball. The Roman Catholic population more than displaced the earlier Welsh, protestant immigrants, but there are protestant churches and social groups such as the Kiwanis that still make fastnachts or doughnuts as fund raisers.

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    1. The Paczkovy Ball, now that sounds like a wonderful tradition. Who would complain about a evening of music, dance and doughnuts! The protestant church up the road from here is where I bought my dozen to take into work today. Take care and thanks for stopping in.

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  10. Balls, holes, sweet treats - just like any other day really... Jx

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  11. After reading your post I went to Reading Terminal Market and picked up three! Fun!

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    1. you lucky dude; I LOVE RTM! termini cannolis - WOO to the HOO!

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    2. Don't get me started on the fine selection of cheese they have there either!!!!

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  12. On my way to the fridge to see what fat needs to be consumed before midnight.

    I'm up for it.

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    1. Just loosen the ole foundation garment before bed.

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  13. I'm unfamiliar with this tradition, but it's automatically one of my favorites!!

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  14. My dad is from a Mennonite family. I remember as a small child watching my grandmother make fasnachts. By the time she finished, her whole large kitchen table was covered with fasnachts. Then we all ate as many fasnachts as we could hold. As a child it was a day that I looked forward to only second to Christmas.
    My mother has carried on this tradition for years. I ate three, today!

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  15. Shame they don't have holes.....we could use you in a fasnacht ring toss!

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    1. I body parts are not used for ring tosses. Yet.

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  16. I would love to order a few dozen of those delicious looking doughnuts! My ass wouldn't like it though.

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  17. I love family cooking traditions. Lucky you- these look soooo good!

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  18. Count me in. When I was younger and lived in England, I grew up with having pancakes for supper on Pancake Day, but I could easily be converted to try these gems.

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  19. Those Fasnachts have a very appetising coating, Mistress. How would you discourage people from licking them? And what would happen if you coated yourself with the same ingredients?

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    1. Hell, I'd lick him head to toe........

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  20. Yesterday here was Andalusia Day. No fasnachts. (My mouth is watering.)

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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