Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Need Some Ideas Here

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").

Mmmm, packzis.

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?


Pop and Ice February 16, 2010 at 9:31 PM  

Typically Lent is a time for giving up indulgences, but I think a daily focus on something uplifting or charitable is a good swap out every other year. So vow to do something good every day. You just have to figure out what the "good" is. There. I've helped.

Pat February 16, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

You don't have any vices, so I'd go along with Pop and Ice: do something uplifting or charitable each day. I think I'll try that, too....because it would just be impossible for me to give up coffee.

Alexis AKA MOM February 17, 2010 at 12:36 AM  

those look delish my dear, I've never heard of them!

Ok chocolate I love it but man out of the others I so not going there. Come on no food network yup couldn't do it :)

Laura February 17, 2010 at 3:46 AM  

I think Michelle you should give up going out to eat, eat at home for lent.

I would give up chocolate but not my coffee.

Kori February 17, 2010 at 7:21 AM  

I think it is supposed to be a sacrifice, so I don't know about the whole giving up food thing-might it be hard to give up chocolate? Maybe, but certainly not a SACRIFICE. the coffee would be, though! :)

Hyacynth February 17, 2010 at 8:20 AM  

I think chocolate is a good one. I also think that something like Facebook fasting or the like would be good, too. But remember, God knows your heart, so even if you don't find something, He knows that you're thankful for His sacrafice because you're putting thought into it.

WeaselMomma February 17, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

I too am at a loss this year.

Kat February 17, 2010 at 12:51 PM  

I grew up Catholic...and lent was the time that my mother forced me on yet another diet. So, as I grew older, I totally resented the entire idea of Lent. And now that we are in a Lutheran church, some of the ideas are different. One being that you don't give something up, but start to DO something. Like intentional prayer time. Or more bible reading. Or giving of your time. Or something like that.

So...what did you decide to do??

septembermom February 17, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

Giving up chocolate is a tough one for me. I'm hoping to add more prayer to my day. I'm sure you'll do what's right for you :)

Michelle February 18, 2010 at 9:38 PM  

Carol Lynn - You make a good point. A woman in our choir read the whole bible last year during Lent. I couldn'come up with anything good like that though.

Pat - I don't have any vices? HA! I just don't have the TRADITIONAL vices :) I'm sneaky that way.

Alexis - Ohhh they're good. Really good. And I think I'm actually dong the Food Network thing; it has the benefit of making my husband happy as he HATES it.

Laura - Unfortunately that one's out. I had a dinner party last night for a friend who was dying, a fundraiser party for a local charity tomorrow night, etc.

Kori - See, I could totally go without chocolate. If the world was suddenly without chocolate, I'd be totally ok. Granted, I might someday wish I had a blondie (see yesterday's post) but I wouldn't miss it all that much.

Hyacynth - Facebook fasting? Is that not logging onto Facebook during the day? If so ummm, I have a habit of not logging on for weeks and weeks at a time already, so that's a no go.

WeaselMomma - But did you finally come up with anything?

Kat - Same thing with moving to Episcopal now for us. Although with Mister Man going to Catholic school, he is going to keep us honest on the fish. Except I won't be home between 8:30am and 6pm tomorrow. Ugh!

Kelly - I think the Food Network will be right. I thought it was going to be letting my husband slide on things but ummm the last two days proved that wasn't to be. Grrr.

Unknown Mami February 19, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

You could stop blogging for 40 days, but that just seems wrong.

Michelle February 20, 2010 at 8:02 PM  

Unknown Mami - You know, I did think about that one as an option. But yeah... that would be bad, I think :) At least in my mind!

Karen February 22, 2010 at 7:54 AM  

Being Baptist, we don't observe Lent, but I like the idea so have begun a diet/exercise/devotional time for the next 40 days. What? They go together.

Also, licking the screen doesn't provide me with adequate flavor. You may have to send a pastry my way. After the DED regime.

Michelle February 22, 2010 at 10:04 PM  

Karen - Interesting. Baptists don't do Lent at all or just don't do the giving up things? Good luck with the DED, but I don't think the Packzis will be any good by the time Lent is over :)

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