Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Preparing for Shrove Tuesday

Fat Tuesday, the other name for Shrove Tuesday, is more like it with all the sweets that are baked or fried for this occasion before the Lenten Season starts.  Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday is when you gorge yourself with everything and do everything that you need to be forgiven for during Lent.



Let's go to the most famous of the parties, Mardi Gras.  In New Orleans they start out by celebrating usually for the whole weekend before Ash Wednesday.  The streets are lined with party goers who display costumes and the traditional beads of purple, green and gold and eat King Cake.  The entire celebration is themed around these colors.



The biggest parade is on Shrove Tuesday which ends Mardi Gras literally.  As soon as the parade has ended, the police come out and usher everyone off the streets so that the public works department can clean up the multitude of trash that has been dumped on the streets.



In New Orleans they have a French cake doughnut that is called a Beignet.


Another tradition for Shrove Tuesday is the Polish custom of making and eating Paczki.  This is a donut without a hole and can be either filled with custard or fruit fillings and is similar to a jelly donut.  When I was married into a Polish family, they made their Paczki (pronounced:  poonch key) with one special pastry having a cherry in the middle of it.  Whoever got that pastry was considered the lucky one for that year.



Another tradition that I've recently learned is the Pennsylvania Dutch make a pastry called Fastnacht.  It is very similar to the Paczki in appearance.  This donut is fried and sprinkled with confectioners sugar.



The tradition that I never knew about was the tradition of eating pancakes on Fat Tuesday.  The fancier you make the pancake the better.  The more toppings you put on such as strawberries or cherries the better.  I think you need to top the whole stack off with whipped cream but that is just my interpretation of the pancake stack.

However, you choose to celebrate Shrove Tuesday, it is traditionally with sinful foods and partying.

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