Tuesday, February 13, 2018

FASTNACHT DAY!

Fasnacht Day: who wouldn't appreciate a holiday revolving around frying and eating doughnuts? And if our Eros is reading....I warn you to grab your napkin and let the drooling begin.
Otherwise known as “Fat Tuesday”, for a Pennsylvania resident, today is fastnacht day. We here in Pennsylvania  drinking cocktails. We like drinking as much as we like doughnuts.
The religious call it Shrove’s Tuesday...it’s the day Lutheran’s clean their larder of all fats, and live a clean un-fatted life until Easter. I see the Fat Tuesday similarities. Don’t you?


These Shrove Tuesday treats, known as fasnachts, or faschnacht-kichli in Pennsylvania Dutch, are deep-fried cakes originally made of risen dough from flour and finely mashed potatoes. Fasnachts are fried every year in communities across Pennsylvania, the United States and Europe as a final hurrah to usher in the somber season of Lent. There are many recipes and ways to enjoy fasnachts. These are the ones I got to take into work today.

I get from a local farm, and they are like eating air!!!! This year I got three dozen. Two for work and one for myself. What a pig right? Soooooo good. Some families, churches, and ladies auxiliary clubs make them according to regionally specific recipes, while some commercial establishments make them without potatoes. I can remember when I was very young, and staying with my grandmother. She and her church lady friends would make hundreds of these down at the church and would have at the ladies function that afternoon and would also sell in brown bags. There were many advantages then to hanging around her dress skirts!!!! Some years she made them in her own kitchen, to give to our family and the whole neighborhood. Some use baking powder rather than yeast to make a regional variety called "kickers," after the western Lehigh and eastern Berks Pennsylvania Dutch word "kichliche" (little cakes). Some enjoy them dipped in molasses or syrup, dusted in powdered sugar, or "just so." For many, fasnachts are fried in oil or vegetable shortening, while some prefer the traditional flavor of home-rendered lard.
Traditionally, fastnachts are made to use up the lard, sugar, butter, eggs and other rich foods in a house before the austere diet of Lent begins. In Catholic and Protestant countries, Fastnacht Day is also called "Fat Tuesday," or "Mardi Gras," a name which predates the Reformation and referred to the Christian tradition of eating rich foods before the Lenten fast began. The word "fastnacht" means "the night before the fast," since the doughnuts are eaten the night before Lent, when fasting is usually observed by many Christians until Easter Sunday. Making and eating fastnachts was a way to consume all the fats, such as butter and lard and sugars, kept in the house pantry, as these rich ingredients were seen as lavish and were not supposed to be eaten during the Lenten season.

So get out there and eat a doughnut, and repent.

37 comments:

  1. I always love reading about this tradition!

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  2. I love this tradition. I don't know of any place nearby that sells these, though. I might have to pick up some donuts along with my groceries at the market tonight.

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  3. This was big with my family too. Anything involving food , I can get behind. I went to Reading Terminal to Termini Brothers to get my fastnachts.

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    1. I love Termini Brothers!!!!!! Philadelphia bakeries have excellent, authentic fastnachts too.

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  4. I will consume the closest thing to authentic as possible - but I shall not repent! LOL.

    Happy fasnacht! Hugs!!

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  5. Had friends who gave up Clint Eastwood movies for Lent. :-)

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  6. I read that as you had fast nuts. i thought I needn't glasses.

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  7. I was at Reading Terminal Market today also, and saw fastnachts everywhere. I remembered your posts, to come home with a few and see your post. I can now rehearst happy for the day.

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  8. I give up NOTHING because (a) I repent nothing and (b) lent is a buncha bullshit hokum!

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    1. I was going to give up tubular meats.....but why bother.

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    2. sausage is good for you, as are weiners! :)

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  9. There's not by chance such a thing as a custard-filled fastnachts, is there?

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    1. A real, traditional fasntnacht is not usually filled with anything. But I'm sure a filled donut will do in a pinch.

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  10. I loved this post. I remember fastnachts day well.both my grandparents and parents celebrated the day. I can remember the local neighborhood church would put the sign out announcing the sale. While I don't fast or do Lenten I'm not above eating them. I bought four fastnachts today.

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  11. Oh for Pete's sake! This is the second time you're making me want junk food! Tonight, I and some friends are going out for pancake Tuesday, because we like pancakes and not because I have done anything bad....... since breakfast at least.

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  12. When I was young my Mom and Grandma made them every year. Homemade, they are the best!

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  13. Oh my goodness......homemade fastnachts are the best! Your a good co worker to have.

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  14. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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  15. This post always bring back fond memories. My paternal grandmother, Grammy as we called her, was also a master of fastncahts. She had a tiny fryer and would make one or two at a time. When it was fastnacht day, I would ride my bike to her house. The smell would hit me half a block away. When I got to the door, she would already have a pile of made. I would eat some straight away and then a few more dipped in thick table syrup. They were the best right from the fryer. As she got older and was no longer able to cook, she would smile and say, “As soon as I’m able, I am going to make you some doughnuts.” I totally forgot it was fastnacht day.

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  16. Never heard of this, so I love the history lesson!

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  17. When we lived in Kansas years ago, I could find these special fastnachts...have no idea where to find them now, but they are yummy.

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  18. Three dozen? Is that all, what’s wrong with you?
    JP

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    1. I shutter to think what you and Guido would come up with to do with them in bed.

      listen to me, like I have room to talk.

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  19. Those Fastnachts look very good you bought. If it wasn't bedtime I would run right in the kitchen and make them!!!!!

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  20. I seen your Fastnachts.......there lovely.

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  21. How fortuitous! I was actually making donuts for Valentine's Day! I'm making a "test batch" right now, must make sure that they taste great! The rest of the dough is resting in the fridge for tomorrow. I'm having a hard time keeping a lid on that strawberry jam I plan on using to make the frosting...it's just so delicious!

    I've never heard of fastnachts, so thank you for introducing me to it. They look delicious! I'm going to hunt them down and try some in the spirit of learning something new!

    You're a generous coworker for sharing your scrumptious fastnachts! I bet they couldn't stop stuffing their mouths with your tasty fastnachts!

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    1. What pressing minds want to know is will any of your gems make it into work?!?!?!?! We know your track record with "taste testing".

      I've been making chocolate covered cherries for three nights to take to work fro Valentine's.

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  22. Sadly, I have had neither paczkis nor fastnachts today. Boo.

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  23. I have drooled all over my keyboard. I've never been able to speak German or Dutch... but I absolutely adore a Fast Fuck. Sorry! Oops... I mean a FastNacht, that is. They look yummy.

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  24. In parts of Maryland, the treats are called Kinklings, or Kuechles and are only sold in bakeries on Shrove Tuesday.

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  25. Shame they don't have holes. I can only imagine what you and the Lad would do with those.

    Jokes aside....I did have three of these yesterday.

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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