Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Not just a Sufjan Stevens song.

I was almost too ravenously excited to document photographic evidence.
Last night, I made the trek to the library only to find the lights off and the doors locked. The sign said the library was closed in observance of Casimir Pulaski Day. Without missing a beat I boarded a bus and went to the grocery store. Hmm...That might not seem like a logical progression of events. Let me start over.

In Illinois, the first Monday of March is when we all pause and reflect on the contributions and sacrifice of Casimir Pulaski, who…excuse me while I look this up on Wikipedia...“is known for his contributions to the U.S. military in the American Revolution by training its soldiers and cavalry.” And for doughnuts. His contributions to Polish doughnuts, or paczki are unmatched. Let me start over.

In Illinois, the first Monday of March is when we all celebrate Casimir Pulaski Day by eating Polish doughnuts. Paczki are similar to other bismarcks (round doughnuts with filling). Traditional fillings are "Powidła (stewed plum jam) and wild rose hip jam" but Jewel/Osco only had strawberry, Bavarian cream and raspberry.

Time to get learned: “In Poland, pączki are eaten especially on Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Lent). Many Polish Americans celebrate Pączki Day on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Traditionally, the reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because they were forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent.” Thanks Wikipedia. You’re welcome, Brad.

“But Brad! Doesn’t Chicago have the highest concentration of Polish people other than that found in Poland? What if I don’t live in a geographical locale with a sizable Polish and/or Polish-American population?” While I doubt you’ll be able to eat paczki, I will invite to indulge your aural senses. Come on and feel the Illinoize!

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