Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It's Fat Tuesday

pancakeWhile I was growing up, we used to eat pancakes on the weekends but we never ate them for Fat Tuesday. My dad would get up early and start the burner with a large circular pan perfect for golden brown plate sized pancakes. We used to love watching him flip the pancake over while it was being cooked.

When I got older, my parents became experts at making crepes. We used to have those incredible looking crepes from time to time on the weekends thanks to my swimming career. They always tasted just as incredible as they looked a bit like the photo. My parents would usely make the crepes from fresh strawberries and whipped cream or bananas with a light custard sauce and some whipped cream in between. They were certainly to die for yet glad I could eat them after a healthy dose of 3 hours of swimming.

Since I've been hearing about Fat Tuesday all week in New Orleans, I wanted to see the orgins of the name. The name originated in France, as "Fat Tuesday", or Fettisdagen in Swedish. Sweeden however does celebrate the day as "Shrove Tuesday". The day is marked by eating traditional Swedish pastry, called Semla. The pastry is only to be eaten today but it is seasonally available from New Year until the beginning of Lent.

Interestingly enough, in Poland, Pączki are traditionally eaten on Fat Thursday or Tłusty czwartek. Large Polish communitnies existing in Michigan, the pastry is eaten on "Fat Tuesday" due to French influence. Fat Tuesday ends on Mardi Gras literally meaning Fat Tuesday where Carnival and Fasnacht are celebrated, but maybe not always on the exact day. Come to think of it, I never ever thought of the translation until now!

So for those endulging in those pancakes today, celebrating Mardi Gras or being a spectator, enjoy. I'll be dreaming about them in the photo and tasting them in my imagination.

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