Fat Tuesday and Paczki
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Soooo today is FAT Tuesday. When I was little I always wondered why they called Tuesday fat - after all that wasn't very nice. My polish Busha smiled and laughed when she heard me ask this question.
She explained it to me like this. Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which in the Catholic church (which we were members of) is the beginning of the lenten season. During the lenten season, Catholics were to fast. So the week before Ash Wednesday, they would haul out the lard, the sugar, flour and fruit on hand to make paczki so it wouldn't go bad during the 40 days of Lent. I remember her making the dough with lard, cooking them in lard - we couldn't wait to sample them! Of course Tuesday was the last day to eat the paczki because on Wednesday it would be considered forbidden and a temptation. No one wanted to be wasteful so they ate it all instead of just throwing it away - therefore the paczki on Fat Tuesday. My friend's busha said that they also had to drink all the beer - but my busha never told me that story! Maybe that is why we have Mardi Gras! Busha said everyone got fat the week before Easter and then got lean during the 40 days of Lent.
Well, today there were paczki in our kitchen. They weren't like my busha's paczki made with lard and prune filling, but store bought with fillings like apple and berry. It was not hard for me to pass on them! But for some silly reason I feel like I need to eat everything else that is fattening - as if it were going to disappear from the face of the earth during Lent. I know better than that. The Easter Bunny brings it all back in the basket on Easter!
Reality - had my normal breakfast & lunch, heading to the gym tonight and will probably have a veggie egg scramble for supper. I have enough fat on my body to sustain me through the 40 days of Lent - and it's not like I am not going to eat during those 40 days! Good Grief!
Everyone keeps asking me what I am giving up for Lent - well I guess I could say sweets, but I pretty much already gave them up. I think this year instead of giving up - I am going to give of. I am going to give of myself and do some volunteering.
Gee, I miss my polish Busha, the old customs and traditions, and her stories. I wonder what memories my grandkids will have to pass on to the future generations. Probably no stories of Fat Tuesday or paczki!