Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gennerations of Fasnachts

Fat Tuesday is what I know to be Fasnacht Day. For as long as I can remember I have eaten homemade fasnachts (raised donuts) this day before lent. My great grandmother, my grandmother, and now, myself made donuts on this day to share with others. As I write this, the aroma of donuts fills my house, and my kids have tummies full of them! For some reason, this year's didn't turn out quite right...I don't know why...that just happens sometimes I guess.

Growing up, my Grammy would usually walk into our home Tuesday evening with a big bag of donuts for us. She would spend the day making them, then she would bag them up and deliver them to family, friends, and to her co-workers. I loved to walk into her house and smell the aroma! One year I happened to be home from school when Grammy was making donuts. I asked if I could help. We spent the day together, mixing, stirring, kneading. When the dough had to rise for a few hours, Grammy gathered herself together and we drove to the nursing home to visit some of the elderly from our church, and her sister, who was sick. After the visit, we came home to roll out dough, cut donuts, let them rise again, and then boil them in oil. Grammy didn't want me to do the frying since I might burn myself. She showed me how to carefully place the donuts into the oil face side down. We watched them rise from the bottom up, waited for a few minutes, then flipped them over to brown on the other side.
Grammy always gave me the assignment of counting the donuts. She always wanted to know how many she ended up with! Sometimes while we were waiting on the dough to rise she would do her ironing in the kitchen while we talked. She ironed everything! She always made good use of her time!
After Grammy died, I have continued the tradition of doughnut making. Since I moved away from where I grew up, I usually had to explain to everyone in receipt of the donuts, the meaning of Fastnacht day.

Grammy left me with several treasures. She fed me donuts, taught me how to make them, and share them....but she also taught me how to manage my time. She taught me the importance of making time for visits to the elderly, sick, and widowed. She gave me her undivided attention in conversation as we spent time together, and she took time to write her recipe on paper...just for me! (which I still have that paper, and use it every year!) Included in each doughnut making day are my Great Grandmother's doughnut cutter, and my Grammy's rolling pin! I think of her every time I use it.

So, Happy Fasnacht Day, my friends. Go, eat a doughnut!

Recipe for Raised Donuts by Susan Stoudt

6c. Boiling water
1c. Instant potatoes
2 1/2c. shortening
2c. eggs beaten
3c. Sugar
2T. salt

combine above ingredients then add the following mixture:
4c. warm water
1/4c. yeast
1tsp. sugar

Then add 9 1/2 lbs. of flour. Knead until not tacky to feel. place in large bowl and let rise for 2 hours.
Roll out dough to about 1 inch thick, cut doughnuts and set them on floured counter top.

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees. Place doughnuts face down in oil until lightly browned, then flip them over to brown on the other side. Remove from oil with a fork and place on layers of paper towels to dry.

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