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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kitchen Time Machine

Thanks once again to the Wonderful World of Facebook, I found myself tripping down memory lane tonight with some friends from back home. This time the topic of discussion was the Shrove Tuesday delicacy known by the Pennsylvania Dutch as "fastnachts". A fastnacht is a wonderful thing - it is similar to a donut in some ways, but its texture reminds me more of a funnel cake. There are about as many different recipes for them as there are spellings of their name, but they are simply wonderful.

Folklore states that fastnachts came into being as a way for families to use up as much of the fat in the house as possible before the fasting of Lent began. Shrove Tuesday is also known as Fastnacht Day back home in central PA. I have not had fastnachts for years - I vaguely remember my mother making them a few times, but we usually got them from any number of pre-Lent church bake sales. People eat them in different ways - some slice them and spread butter or molasses on them, some eat them plain, some (including me) sprinkle them with powdered sugar.

Anyway, I decided to make some tonight. I went online and started digging for recipes. I finally settled on one of about 50 that I found, and started the process.

Kneading the dough, under the curious and watchful eyes of my youngest. (Photo courtesy of my 5 year old!)

The dough had to rise for about 2 hours....

Roll it out and cut 'em....

What's that sound? Oh yes, the sound of my arteries slamming shut....

Drain them, because that removes soooo much of the fat...

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy!!!

With the first bite, I was instantly transported back to my youth....it's amazing how something as simple as a fastnacht can bring back so many memories from decades ago.

Now I know I'm going to have to walk twice as many miles this week to make up for that - but that's the whole idea of Fastnacht Day, isn't it?

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