Happy Paczki Day - Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras - Shrove Tuesday

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Were I come from in Michigan, the metro Detroit area, this is what we eat on Fat Tuesday.... delicious Polish doughnuts called paczki (pronounced  poonch-key). I am Polish and there is a large presence of  Polocks in the state of MI and we are pretty serious about our food, drinks and traditions. I can remember growing up my Father would get up at the crack of dawn or earlier to go to the Chene Bakery,  his favorite bakery in Dearborn where he grew up. He would stand in line along with  lots of others to wait for for his turn to get a box of freshly baked paczki form the old Polish women behind the counter. The traditional filling is prune (believe it or not it is really freaking good) and that was his favorite but he would bring home an assortment of cherry, strawberry and custard for the rest of us. I liked prune the best too... Daddy's girl I was. 

When I went away to college at FSU my dad would ship them down to me every year and for many years after I got married. It's one of those foods that if I close my eyes and take in the smell and the first bite I can go right back to my childhood... my grandmother's kitchen, the things she would bake, the traditions we shared as a family. 

The doughnuts were a last hurrah for us Catholics as we embarked onto our Lenten journey of fasting and penance, the 40 days before Easter. They were what we pigged out on for Fat Tuesday!!! My kids know what paczki are but I don't buy them  in GA because frankly they suck ass are just regular old doughnuts here... they don't taste the same at all so it's kind of a disappointment. And ya can't get prune, apparently it's not a mainstream doughnut filling flavor. Neither is brownie batter but DD makes it... not bitter I swear.

My other favorite Mardi Gras tradition is you guessed it... drinking. Preferably on Bourbon Street in NOLA. I have been to Mardi Gras twice in my life and it is truly something you must experience at least once. Hundreds of beads piled around your neck, kissing strangers, flashing your boobs, peeing in dark alleys, chasing down a street vendor with a hot dog cart at 2 in the morning ... these are southern traditions. Ok well maybe not all of those. 

I have vividly hazy memories of sloshing down hurricane's at Pat O'Brien's, scraping together enough money to eat at Commanders Palace for dinner and stumbling to Cafe Du Monde for beignets and chicory coffee the next day. You will think you died and went to heaven with this in your mouth... for realz.

So those are my favorite Fat Tuesday memories and traditions. Do you have any?


  1. mardi gras is on my bucket list. i've always wanted to go and nearly did but miami won out.

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

  2. I love this . . . it's so fun to read about everyone's family traditions . . . I don't have any for Mardi Gras - guess I'll just have to make some!! :-)

  3. I need to go over to my Aunt's house tonight....and ask her to start making some paczki.....because those pictures look like heaven.

  4. I never had a favorite Mardi Gras tradition until I worked with a girl from New Orleans. She would have her mom send us king cake and one year I found the little naked baby jesus. I really don't care about the naked baby jesus but that cake was soooooo good!

  5. My favorite is lemon or blueberry filled!!!! :D I had some this year, recently, but none today actually!