Scalzi’s First Pączki
Weirdly, and despite my well-known love of deep-fried dough, I somehow made it through 53 years of life without ever once eating a pączki. I can give any number of explanations for this, none of them good; heck, I lived in Chicago for years, the heartland, if you will, of Polish-American culture, and yet still managed to miss out.
Well, no longer: Last night I stopped at the local Meijer to replenish my Coke Zero stock, and there was a small stack of pączki packages — on sale! — waiting for someone to take them home before the clock struck midnight and North American Pączki Day (i.e., the last day before Lent begins) faded into memory. I was that someone (I did also buy my Coke Zero. One must always stay on mission). I brought them home and shared one with Athena, because it was late and I did not want to eat a whole one right before bed.
Not surprisingly, I thought it was pretty darn good — close to but not quite like a jelly donut, with denser dough and not as sweet. A++, would eat again, and did, since I had another one this morning. I am relieved that this 53-year era of pączki deprival is behind me now. I have all the rest of my life to catch up.
For those of you who celebrate Lent, I hope this year’s season is a reflective and fruitful time for you.