Today is one of my favorite days. Living where I live, the day before Ash Wednesday has special meaning. Granted, I’m not in New Orleans where this is the culmination of a wonderful celebration of Mardi Gras (ahhh to be in college again where I can drive down on a moment’s notice and spend a day and a night there, sleeping under a tree). Nope, here we have something totally different.
It’s Packzi Day (pronounced essentially “poohnch-key”).
They’re a Polish delicacy – thus the name I have a hard time reconciling pronounciation with spelling – that is traditionally made on the day before Ash Wednesday when all the fats and sweets had to be used up. We have an awesome bakery near me that makes them. In fact, they’re awesome enough that I woke up early this morning so I could drive twenty minutes out of my way before work to pick up a couple. For my family. Ahem.
Ok, so I got my six packzis, the owner was taping up the box, and I shouted “no no no — wait, don’t tape it!” He looked up with a question on his face. I explained that it was for my breakfast.
And looking back now, I understand why he laughed. To clarify, I only ate one packzi today. Single.
Needless to say, he laughed and untaped the box. And adding insult to injury, he grabbed a plastic fork and stuck it into the box for me. Apparently I do something memorable to him every year I buy packzis.
So what is a packzi?
It’s essentially a lovely donut stuffed with fruit. Traditionally (from what I understand being Irish and Scottish and German but not Polish), they were cut in half with sliced fruit and whipped cream being placed inside and powdered sugar atop. Prune filling was also another traditional flavor.
While the bakery I patronize has those options, it also goes for the big flavor. They have raspberry filled glazed packzis. They have custard filled chocolate frosting packzis. They have apricot filled packzis. Pretty much pick a (good) flavor, and they have them.
Mister Man chooses blueberry and pineapple packzis – to be doled out over a several day period – for his, while I got nontraditional with my chocolate frosting filled covered in powdered sugar.
And the other tradition here? That would be Shrove Tuesday where the British essentially do the same thing – celebrating the last of the fun before the start of Lent.
Thus, my church has a Shrove Tuesday party with English crepes served with both lemon and sugar (traditional) and nutella, ice cream, whipped cream, cherries, and more.
Did I mention that a friend of mine took me out for lunch today for Mexican? Yikes.
So Mister Man and I headed over to the church where we indulged in some traditional yummies before playing their version of bunco. My partner and I were terrible at Beetle Drive, unable to roll a six (which you have to do to start the game) most of the time. Mister Man managed to win most of them, however, and I have a feeling we’re going to be playing a lot of that game around here.
It’s been thoroughly drummed into me that Lent is fast upon us (no pun intended, I swear). But I’m stuck. I can’t come up with anything good to give up this year.
I don’t drink pop or caffeine. I don’t drink alcohol enough to remember that I’m trying to give it up. I don’t swear; I rarely chew gum. Chocolate is done so often. So what do I do for Lent this year? I’ve got three hours before I need to figure it out, and I’m not there yet?
Do I commit to planning out meals for my family for each day in Lent?
Do I commit to doing a particular (painful) exercise each day?
Do I go for the chocolate route?
Do I clean one room in the house thoroughly each day?
Do I give up the Food Network (that would make my husband happy)?
So after all the fun indulgences I had today reminding me that a solemn time is nearly upon us, what do you suggest? Help a girl out, would you?