The day before Lent seems one big excuse to EAT. For those trying to diet it must be the day from hell, and appropriately named “Fat Tuesday”.
Fat Tuesday translates into Mardi Gras in French but we will ignore that pompous culture.
Living in Pennsylvania Dutch influenced Central Pennsylvania we began our day with a Fastnacht Donut. (Fastnacht translates from German as “eve of the fast”) In days of yore, the Fastnacht was made with all the sweets and forbidden items in the household to eliminate temptation during Lent. (A local radio station called them 'a donut on steriods'.<grin>)
Raised in Irish traditions myself, it’s Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. Long ago pancakes were eaten to use up milk and eggs, which traditionally were not eaten during Lent and would spoil. A surprising pragmatic pre-Lenten celebration, considering Irish culture has the enigma looming ahead of St. Patrick’s Day in the middle of Lent. Fasting after all has to be kept in proper perspective. <grin>
Of course, I brought Patti home for a family pancake dinner. Driving home I hear her rustling through some papers in the back seat. Glancing in the rear view mirror I see a face with cheeks stuffed like a chipmunk with tell tale powdered sugar all over her face and clothes. I didn’t even have to ask, even though "legally blind" Patti's sense of smell had found Megan’s left over half of a Fastnacht donut. <grin> ... and saved our daughter a lecture from Dad on leaving food in the car. <sigh>