Back in Sellersville, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, the day before Ash Wednesday was fasnacht day. Time to use up the fat in the larder and fry up a huge batch of german donuts before repenting for 40 days of Lenten sacrifice (we never did that part). We did it for good luck, the same way we ate pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. My Grammy who lived with us growing up made them every year and only once a year. They were a real treat and I loved them.Grammy typically made a recipe with baking powder instead of yeast. She fried up lumpy hard donuts, like the kind they call “old fashioneds” and we topped them with a bucket of powdered sugar and ate them up before school. The original breakfast of champions. We washed them down with full fat vitamin fortified cow’s milk before we walked to school.
The next day, Lots of the other kids had ashes on their foreheads. (We didn’t do that either) and I never understood until I was older that the two rituals were actually connected.
Today, no fasnachts, no Grammy; but I thought of both of them all day with love and longing.