Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Won't You Have a Fastnacht?
Today is Fat Tuesday. It is also Fastnacht Day. A fastnacht ia a fluffy pastry similar in texture to a donut. It is usually a non-filled pastry and can be coated in sugar or powdered sugar and most of the time served warm.
Although a true Pennsylvania Dutch person will tell you they are served plain. The exact history of the fastnacht seems to be a great debate. But Fat Tuesday is one day before the beginning of the forty days of lent that will lead up to Easter in the Christian tradition. There are many ingredients,including flour, fat, eggs, and lots of butter. Most of these items are given up for the lent, and durning this period aren't consumed. The problem is what to do with all these contents in the meantime, before they spoil. So the people in Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, where this day seems to be the most popular for fastnacht day, make tons of fastnacht and pastries to gorge the family on. And every year I can't help but think of the Mistress's Grandmother, who was always so special to me. She is twevle years gone, but I can remember her in the kitchen, deep frying and making tons of fastnachts for the ladies church function that they would have that day. Plus, she also made enough for the whole neighborhood and the family. So even though she is gone I always keep the tradition alive. Today on my way in to work, I picked up my order of fastnachts at the market, where the lady makes them pretty close tasting to my Grandmother's. Although, I have to admit, I did get a little sugar on mine. This one's for you tootes! And how many times did I say my nuts, I mean, nacht's?