Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful young daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
This week’s Culinary Yes Yes is dedicated to all my Polish friends. You know who you are.
Sadly, there aren’t many times that we Poles (whether 100% Polish or some smattering thereof) get to celebrate our culture & heritage. In these ridiculously politically correct times we live in, it seems the only “off color” jokes & jabs that are still accepted are the ones against the people who bring you great vodka, kielbasa, pierogi and… you know what’s coming…
At least when Fat Tuesday rolls around we can stake one claim to fame:
Kevin is about 1/1000th Polish, but INSISTS on the traditional prune filling in his Paczki. While I’m generally all about tradition, I’m NOT all about prunes. So I prefer the alternative of raspberry, but claim to be about 50% Polish. Go figure.
If you’re thinking, “Looks like a regular jelly donut to me” please don’t say that out loud in the presence of a Polish person days before Lent. It won’t be well-received. However, if you’re lucky you’ll be educated not just by lecture of history but rewarded with a sweet of your own. We’ll see if you ever call it a jelly donut again.
There are countless bakeries in the Milwaukee vicinity that can provide your paczkis. Thanks to a strong Central European population in the area, it’s not tough to find authentic treats. If for some unbelievably crazy reason you’ve never tried one of this little darlings, it’s not too late to change your ways. If you’re reading this when you should (Sunday evening as soon as this blog shows up on FranklinNOW) you have two days to plan where you’ll sample your first – and presumably not your last – paczki.
Whether you’ve savored them for years or are – GASP! – a newbie, you might be tempted to make these little darlings in your own kitchen. Well why not give it a whirl? Truthfully I’ve never attempted to try. This is one of those instances I say leave it to the “experts.” However if you are so inclined you might start with a bit of research by delving into Polish Heritage Cookery like this blogger did. If you’d prefer a slightly modernized but seemingly authentic recipe with details and photos, check out Brown Eyed Baker’s recently posted recipe.
A couple words of warning. If you ARE new to this whole paczki thing, you need to understand their popularity. If you think you can just dash in to one of the great Milwaukee-area bakeries on your way to work, not allowing yourself at least an extra hour to stand in line, think again. And don’t try to sneak your way in to the front of the line with an elaborate and completely fabricated story just so you can get your dozen before anyone else does. It would never work.
Celebrating Fat Tuesday with a delicious, traditional Polish pastry? Why of COURSE it’s a Culinary Yes Yes! Smacznego!