Friday, February 20, 2009

February 20

TGIF- It's Mardi gras weekend. The last chance to party before Ash Wednesday and 40 days of Lenten repenting. Some people party like it's the end of the world. Some merely smile and celebrate family and ethnic traditions- one of our family traditions is Pacza- pronounced poonchki. A Lenten donut filled with various fillings. The idea was to eat up all the "treats and happy" foods so they don't rot-or tempt you during the solemn days of Lent.

No, poonchki for me this year as I am on a gluten-free diet. Sadness. But I do have gluten free pancake mix in the house. So, there will be pancakes on Fat Tuesday, another tradition. Where I went to college they used to hang pancakes in the trees for the birds on Fat Tuesday.

Other Lenten traditions include-meat-free Fridays, of course and dishes like Noleshicki (Yeah, I have no idea how to spell it so I sounded it out.) It's a crepe like pancake with cheese filling. Easy and simple for those Friday nights.

Then on Holy Thursday my mother always makes hot cross buns- a simple fruit bun with white icing in the form of a cross on the top. I couldn't wait for those-I loved the icing best-our first taste of sugar in 40 days as we usual gave up sweets for Lent. Those little buns meant that all the hardship and sacrifice of Lent would soon be over, opening the world to Easter and spring.

What, if any, are your family traditions?


  1. Oh dear. Ash Wednesday loomin. This year I'm going to be a badbad girl and not do my usual Lent - will be too difficult to stay off chocolate when we're in Switzerland (right in the middle of Lent). I'm vegetarian so meat free Fridays don't count. Hmmm. Maybe I should give up icecream and coke?

    And - yum - I still lick the icing off the hot cross buns and give the rest away!!

  2. Mmm. Pancakes and hot cross buns. For some reason, I now have a hankering for a funnel cake.

  3. Coming from a Catholic family, and being a product of the Catholic School System, Lent was always an anticipated time of the year in our house. While my mom would piously prepare non-meat Friday suppers (although I always argued that fish was meat), and kept after me to remain true to the season, avoiding candy and soda--or "soft drinks", as she called them, I was scanning the TV listings.

    The TEN COMMANDMENTS aired during Lent, and in those days before home video that was a big deal. On the big night, we would all gather in front of the set and lose ourselves in this grand, special-effects driven, over-the-top biblical epic.

    Only THE WIZARD OF OZ received equal family excitement.

    Suddenly...I want to see Charlton Heston split the Red Sea again.

    Nancy, those "hot cross buns" sound utterly charming.

  4. A lot of food associated with Lent!

    I don't celebrate Lent, so this was interesting.

  5. Hi Martin, thanks for the great post. Sounds like my childhood. Now Moses makes me think of popcorn- and The Wizard of Oz reminds me of Thanksgiving.

    Helen, I think it is all about the food-HA! Mostly because you're supposed to be fasting.