Fat Thursday starts the last week of Carnival before Ash Wednesday. Week of heavy eating, drinking and partying.:) Since the Lent is a time of fasting, people wanted to make sure they will remember it well. During the Lent they used to stay away from meat and eggs , butter and sugar until Easter. Not anymore...
As for the beginnings of this tradition we have to go back to ancient times. The Romans celebrated the end of winter and beginning of spring by eating greasy food. Popular were little cakes, but not the sweet kind, wrapped in salted pork. The day of celebration was called Fat Day.
In Poland the ritual of eating sweet "paczek" started in XVI century. In XVII in Cracow area the day was associated with a death of a very mean mayor. The women of Cracow celebrated that event by dancing and partying in Cracow marketplace.
There was a belief that if one doesn`t eat "paczek" on Fat Thursday, it won`t have luck in life. I can honestly say, I had enough of "paczki" to have all the luck!
The ideal "paczek" has a yellow ring in the middle:
" Paczki " Photo credit not mine, but legal:)
My mom and I did not make paczki. We have tried and we have failed. It is not an easy task.
Instead we used to make fried cakes in a shape of of a wheel, called "oponki". It envolved mixing up and kneading flour, eggs, sugar,and cream cheese. The kids job was to cut the circle out and make a little hole in the middle.
Quite popular were "faworki". A thinly rolled out dough, cut in narrow rectangles. The fun part was to slash them in the middle and pull one end of a rectangle trough it. After the oponki or faworki were fried, we dusted them with an enormous amount of powder sugar, and obviously ate the. I can`t tell you how many times I burned my tongue, too impatient to wait:)
"Faworki" Photo credit not mine, but legal:)
I want to share the adjusted, to the needs of my family, recipe for "faworki".
Before you get started with faworki, you need to finish baking your daily bread:)
The promised bread recipe ( for my friends ) can be found here:)
Then you mix 5 egg yolks, 1 and 1/4 cups of flour, 1 tsp of vinegar, 2 tsp of sour cream 1 tsp of sugar in the cuisinart bowl.
...you need to beat the dough up until air bubbles show up... or take two kids, put them in
the car and pick your oldest one from school.
When you come back, you roll the dough into the shape of Australia, it is really important :)
Then you get your kids to make the cuting and slashing while listening to "Listen to your Heart" sung by your oldest one. Valentine Day is coming ...:)
After you fry "faworki" and dust them with sugar, you give them to your children right before dinner.
Fat Thursday comes only once a year, right? It is all right to make exceptions:)
Happy Fat Thursday,