by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Sunday, March 2, 2014
Even though I don't practice either of those religions, learning the traditions and practices of any portion of a culture is important to understanding them. Respecting those traditions builds compassion, respect, and friendships. In my eyes, at least.
These days, I've run across many people who don't even know why they're celebrating Mardi Gras. To them, it's just a week-long party in New Orleans. In actuality, it's celebrated world wide. But yes, in many places it has turned into a week-long celebration culminating on the Tuesday before Lent.
Some people know the same day as Shrove Tuesday; shrove meaning "confess". Pancakes are to Shrove Tuesday what Pączki are to Fat Tuesday. Its popularity is mainly in the UK (or elsewhere from those who have moved and brought the tradition with them), and is often referred to as Pancake Tuesday. Traditionally the pancakes are not American-style fluffy pancakes, but thin crêpes. But since both use fat, eggs, and sugar, I bet either version is acceptable.
These Blackberry Fritters are a delicious and decadent way to put that fat...that sugar...those eggs...to use in honor of Fat Tuesday. But they're good any other day, too.
My typical nod to Fat Tuesday is the consumption of at least one Pączki. I'll be making a batch this year, as a matter of fact. Do you have any Fat Tuesday traditions?
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water (~110° F)
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups (310-345 g) bread flour
- 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 14 g (2 pkgs / 1-1/2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 cups frozen blackberries (NOT thawed)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons bread flour
- vegetable/peanut/canola oil
- 1 pound (4-1/2 cups / 350 g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup hot water, more as needed
- 1-1/2 tablespoons blackberry or boysenberry jam
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup (or golden syrup)
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.