The Lenten food is coming out of the wood work. "Another country heard from", as the saying goes. It seems every ethnic group and conclave has some kind of Lenten tradition. It was to be expected.
Perhaps before Lent actually arrives next week, we'll have a world food tour via our readers. Since just about every group has representatives in the US, we get quite the smorgesborg. (And we can thank the Swedes for that.)
Today's treat comes from a Polish American reader:
I'm unimpressed by hot cross buns myself, but I'm sad that there's no way for me to get fresh paczki in Los Angeles. Unfortunately my parents are visiting from Chicago on Ash Wednesday, not Fat Tuesday. No paczki for me!
Now I could get behind this treat! Think "jelly donut". Only better. Because the batter for the dough is really, really rich with butter and eggs and sugar. And whiskey! Then it's stuffed with fruit or creme. Then they put powdered sugar or glaze or icing or dried fruit on top.
I've never had one, but if I could get my hands on one I would be pleased.
The Polish people make and eat these for Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, in a true Lenten tradition (unlike hot cross buns!) of using up items in the pantry that we won't be using for weeks because we are about to fast and do without. I can get behind this tradition as well. We're working on that this week, as a matter of fact.
We've had some odd dinners. Everything has jelly on it. We're keeping the peanut butter.
Which, contrary to popular belief, is the meaning of Fat Tuesday, basically eating everything in the pantry. I believe it's come to mean, "have a big party with lot of booze." That is not a preparation for holiness. You also run the risk of having a hang over and missing Mass on Ash Wednesday.
At least you'll have a big fat headache with which to align your suffering with Christ.
But it's not Lent yet! So I'm going to tell you where to get paczki in Los Angeles. Next door to Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church is a Polish home called SZAROTKA (3400 W Adams Blvd., which I think is at Adams and Crenshaw, but don't go by me, go by Mapquest or something). I believe you can go buy paczki on Sundays there. I even found you a phone number so you can call and place an order: 323 735 1381. Let me know if this works out for you!