mmm-yoso is not on vacation. Cathy is blogging about some silly stuff. Kirk is not .
Hello Again. This post is late, as my Friends in Detroit are keenly aware. I was kind of busy and didn't get a chance to even start the post until it was too late.
This isn't a religious post, per se. It is an introduction to an explanation of why you are seeing $1 Filet o' Fish sandwichs at McDonald's, $1 fish tacos at Rubio's, a fish sandwich at Arby's, as well as at KFC and full page ads for seafood at Ralphs. I have had a few friends remark to me about McDonald's having its Fillet-o Fish Fridays and how that 'seems to happen every so often'.
Lent is a Christian Observance. It starts on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter. That was on February 20 this year. As you know, if you have been reading the blog, I was born and raised in Detroit and was also raised Catholic. I am not a Practicing Catholic now, but I do observe some of our rituals for a "just in case" scenario. Christians perform some type of sacrifice for the 40 days of Lent. Usually the sacrifice involves giving up a favorite food, but I also have some friends who will give up watching television, or the Internet...something that involves a sacrifice. The idea is that Christ died for our sins and He sacrificed and we should too. Christians Believe that on Easter, Christ rose from the dead and basically the sacrificing stops then and we all go back to whatever we did without for the previous 40 days.
ANYHOW, you all know about Mardi Gras...debauchery and partying in the Big Easy and all of that. That's a giant party ends on the day before Lent. Its a major deal party in New Orleans...so, similarly...if you skew the definition of 'similar'... mostly in the South East/Detroit area of Michigan, there is Paczki Day (its pronounced poonch-key, sort of, there is a thingy under the letter "c"; oh, never mind). One Paczek is a jelly donut, the plural is Paczki. Fried donuts filled with jelly or jam and either glazed or covered in powdered sugar. I buy jelly donuts at Mary's Donuts, in Santee.
Detroiters, and others who are not as wild and crazy as revelers in New Orleans at Mardi Gras go all out and eat up as many Paczki as they can (whoo hoo!), because once Lent happens, there are no jelly donuts to be had in any bakeries, only lowly Hot Cross Buns.
Which are not bad, but are definitely not fried (they are baked), or filled with jelly (they do have some dried fruit or raisins in them) and are part of that "sacrificing" Christians (and Detroiters) do for the 40 days.
So, that's it. You go crazy eating jelly donuts, or partying, and then Lent begins and you begin sacrificing with lowly baked instead of fried sweets.
As a side note, this year was the first year that all the Starbucks in the Greater Detroit area had Paczek available in their stores. Everyone really gets into Paczki just before Lent. The day when the most are sold is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, though. Dozens and dozens are bought and consumed at work, grocery stores give them out...its an interesting phenomenon.
Future Lent posts will explain, via short blogging, about 'not eating meat' as defined by Catholics (hint- fish/seafood does not count as 'meat').
Mary's Donuts 9031 Mission Gorge Road Santee 92071 (SE corner of Mission Gorge and 125) Open 24/7