Sunday, February 26, 2006

Donuts and Fastnacht

Fastnacht Day is coming up on February 28. Traditionally, it was a day when people used up all their lard and sugar by making donuts just before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Since I work in a bakery in a geographical area where many people still observe Fastnacht by eating donuts that day, it makes my next two days extremely busy and disruptive to my sleep schedule. Tonight and tomorrow night, I will be going in to fry donuts starting at midnight. There will be people frying donuts in the bakery from midnight tonight around the clock till late Tuesday afternoon. In the pictures below, I show some donuts that we regularly make year round.


Above are my favorite donuts - glazed sour cream stick donuts. The picture also show the glazing container.


This is a rack of donuts that I was taking out to the donut case this past Saturday morning. It contains a variety of donuts including glazed, powdered, sugar, and iced rings, Bavarian filled donuts, strawberry jelly donuts, white cream donuts, and more.

11 comments:

christina said...

Isn't that interesting that Fastnacht is also celebrated where you are. The traditional donut here is the Faschingskrapfen - a jelly donut. In our family we also eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (pancake Tuesday), although that's not a German tradition.

Fahd Mirza said...

nacht is a german for night, right? so would it be possible to let us enlighten a little bit about this festival?

Tim Rice said...

Hi christina. The tradional fastnacht donut among the Pennsylvania Dutch people is a unfilled, powdered shell donut although people would slice them in half to spread on mollasses and then eat like a sandwich.

fahd mirza, I think you're right that nacht is German for night but I really don't know my German. Among the Pennsylvania Dutch and I think some other people, Fastnacht was the last chance to splurge on sweets before Lent began.

Among Christians who observe Lent, Lent is a time of soul searching and repentance that often involved fasting. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately forty days later on Easter.

Now a days most people don't really observe Lent to that degree. But the custom of splurging on donuts that day hangs on. There is also a folk tale that says if one doesn't eat a donut on Fastnacht, one will get lice. How that tale came about, I don't know.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask.

San Nakji said...

Oh man I am hungry!

Tim Rice said...

Hi San Nakji. It's too bad that I can't send you some donuts over the Internet. :)

Lynn said...

Hi Tim...yummy!

Tim Rice said...

lynn, they are most certainly yummy. Thanks for coming by.

Zanne said...

In other parts of the country it's what's called "Fat Tuesday", which simply means the last time you can pig out before the fasting of lent. People choose something to give up during lent, mostly a food item (chocolate, etc.)

The Polish descendants fry up something called a Ponczi, pronounced Punch-kee. They are sometimes filled with jelly.

In New Orleans it's the awesome Beignet!!! What I wouldn't give for a Beignet right now.

Honestly Tim, if I worked in a bakery I wouldn't be simply overweight I'd be HUGE. Bakery goods are my big downfall. Everything looks great. It looks like you have a sometimes fun job. These jobs can sometimes be tedious though.

Tim Rice said...

Thanks, zanne. You do a good job of summarizing similar pre-Lent related celebrations. Thanks for stopping by.

Ginnie said...

I tell you, I've been getting my education by reading these blogs! First about Pancakes and now about donuts!

And now I also know you work in a bakery! I love it.

Tim Rice said...

Hi ginnie. I have been finding most of the blogs I read to be an education for me. And it's usually a fun and interactive way at that.