what the heck is a paczki? well, some might say it's a jelly doughnut. but i say it's MORE than just a jelly doughnut!
paczki (pronounced "punch-key" or "poonch-key" depending on where you find your information or who you talk to) is a traditional polish pastry. they are pieces of dough, shaped into a flattened sphere, deep fried, filled with some sort of fruit or cream filling then sprinkled with powdered sugar. traditionally, paczki was made in order to use up all the lard, sugar, dairy, eggs and all that sweet, rich stuff in the house, because they were not allowed to consume those things during lent. paczki day in cleveland (and other large polish communities in the united states) celebrate paczki day on fat tuesday, since it is the day before lent.
now, if you've seen my picture (or met me in person) you know i am not polish. at all. BUT, i married into the culture, thanks to my handsome husband. last week, i had everything planned out to make homemade paczki. after all, i can make a pretty mean pierogi so surely, paczki wouldn't be too far out of my league. well, i woke up this morning feeling very behind on things. and making paczki would just back log all the other stuff i want to do. so i sent my polish-ish man (he's kind of a mixed breed...though that's not such a bad thing!) along with the kiddos to pick some up at rudy's strudel and bakery.
and did they get the hook up thanks to the generosity of our sweet neighbor, lydia (who also happens to be the baker there). a dozen paczki and an amazingly delicious looking lady finger.
oh man, was it good.
happy paczki day!