Gizzy in Heaven!

Gizzy in Heaven!
I love you forever and ever, Amen!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today is Fasching's Dienstag (Tuesday), the end of the German carnival season that started on November 11, 2010. It is similar to Mardi Gras where people dress in costumes and go wild in the streets...or at parties.

I always looked forward to this day as a child, because it meant me being able to wear lipstick, fake eye lashes and lots of glitter make up.

Mask art

Germans call the pre-Lenten Carnival season "the foolish season" or "the fifth season." Except for Munich's Okotberfest, it is the one time of y ear when many normally staid Germans (and Austrians and Swiss) loosen up and go a little crazy. Fastnacht or Karneval is a "movable feast" that depends on the date of Easter. This year Fastnacht falls on March 8th (Faschngsdienstag.) The official starrt of the Fasching season is either January 7th (the day after the Epiphany - Holy Three King's Day) or the 11th day of  the 11th month, depending on the region. That gives the Carnival guilds three to four months to organize each year's events (Carnival balls, parades, royalty, etc.) leading up to the big bash in the week before Ash Wednesday, when the Lenten season begins. (read more on

I always enjoyed some traditional Fastnacht Scherben or Krapfen, a potato doughnut. Fastnacht literally translated meaning Fast Night or the Eve of the beginning of the Fast on Ash Wednesday.

Fasching is all about being wild and crazy, releasing steam in a stratified, rigid society. When you're seven, nothing seems wilder than having doughnuts for dinner.

This is a fun article if you want to read more: "It's All About the Food"

Here's a recipe if you want to try making some:

Fastnacht Krapfen.

  In Germany, Shrove Tuesday is an important holiday. Either 
  as a last gastronomic splurge before the forty days of 
  Lenten fasting, or to use up the butters and fats that weren't 
  allowed during Lent, the making of these delicious rich doughnuts 
  was, and in some places still is, a tradition among German people.

This recipe makes from 5 to 6 dozen doughnuts but is easily
halved. If desired the dough may be kept in the refrigerator for
several days to be used as needed.
Ingredients: 1 cup hot mashed potatoes 2 cups sugar 1 cake yeast 1 cup warm water or potato water 7 cups flour 1 cup warms water or scalded and cooled milk 3/4 cup melted butter 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon salt How to make: Combine the hot mashed potatoes, 1 cup of the sugar, the yeast, warm water or potato water, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat until smooth and let rise until dough is light and full of bubbles. Then stir the mixture down and add the remaining 1 cup sugar, the warm water or scalded and cooled milk, melted butter, eggs, salt, and the remaining 6 cups flour. Beat together, adding more flour if necessary to make firm dough. Brush with butter, cover, and let rise until doubled. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a floured board. Knead lightly. Roll out and cut with a doughnut cutter, or cut with a knife into the traditional diamond shapes. Let set for about 20 minutes. Fry in deep fat at 375 degrees (F) until browned. Roll in powdered sugar when done. 

(I've not tried this recipe yet, so maybe you can test it out and let me know how it works!)

Mmmmmm - filled Doughnuts, or Krapfen for Fasching!

(...just what's on my Weight Watchers plan LOL)


glor said...

Ohhhh, those doughnuts look so good! Doughnuts for dinner, I could go for that.

AkasaWolfSong said...

Happy Fasching Doris and Giz!

I just copied the recipe down Doris as I might give these a go, but I'm confused as you have typed out baking powder twice in the recipe but in the directions it calls for baking I'm unsure what is going on...perhaps you can email me with the logistics? I'd appreciate it Love!
Hope you are feeling well Sister/Friend...I'm getting better each day. It's a slow process. You are in my thoughts and prayers! xoxoxo

Anke said...

Meine Maedels und ich lieben Krapfen!! Wir haben ein Rezept von meiner Oma, muss das unbedingt mal rauskramen und schauen ob ich alles dazu habe. :-)

Chatty Crone said...

What a neat idea is that Doris. I loved that - Fasching. Having a day to be foolish to get all our foolishness out before we take the time to be serious. I think I'll tell the ole grandson about this. Loved it. sandie (and the pics too).

Angela said...

Thanks so much for posting about her German heritage Doris! I've been researching my family tree for 20 years and have found that I have a lot of ancestors that came from Germany. I don't know the exact towns they came from though as my research kind of ends or really begins with them in the United States. One family line in particular would have been my Granny's grand parents. They were Mauck in Germany and changed it to Muck in the United States. Unfortunately they didn't pass down any German traditions at all. Not even recipes. I also have found that another line of my family came from Germany also. That would be the Winter line. I think I did find something where they came from Winterhaven. I'm not 100% sure about that but it makes me wonder if that is how they got the name Winter or if Winterhaven was a haven for the Winter Family. This makes me wonder how much German I would be considered since both sides of my family originally came from Germany.

Have a Great Day!

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Now you did it - made me really want a doughnut!!! I love doughnuts, but unfortunately they never settle well. So I try to be good and not eat them at all.

Happy Fasching to you too!

gin said...

wow, I didn't know all that about your German heritage. I'm glad to know you celebrate Mardi Gras too, in your own way. I loved Mardi Gras more when I was younger, too -- all the parades, trinkets, food, etc. Now, not so much. I just do the celebrating on a much smaller scale. But you still gotta celebrate your heritage in some way, right?

Ginny said...

I have never heard of Fasching! Of course I know about Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. So you have happy memories of this. These recipes look SO good!!

Ann said...

I have heard of Fastnacht however I wasn't aware of all the history behind it. those donuts look so good, I think I'm hungry now :)

Janine said...

Ahh es geht doch nichts über karnevalistisches Fettgebäck wie Mutzen und Mutzemandeln (im Rheinland) und natürlich Berliner und für die unter uns die die Marmeladenfüllung nicht mögen ( so wie ich) Stricke,mmmhhhhh.
Das Fasten wird nun echt nötig sein hi hi hi.

I Wonder Wye said...

Oh that sounds awesome!!! NEver heard of this holiday. We had an early Mardi Gras party - a jazz band, muffalatas and red beans and rice, a king cake...I wore a costume and Excy his chaps and cowboy hat...

Deborah said...

I wonder how they taste. They look awesome,but with potatoes!!! That is a great idea if you allergic to wheat like my son. I should try these.

Annie said...

This is so interesting, Doris. I think that if I had grown up in Wisconsin, I would havea been exposed to so many traditions such as you describe here. Alas, my dad move to California and that was that.

The donuts remind me of my grandfather. He was a baker and Saturday morning donuts (called fry cakes) was a regular event.

Karin said...

Lucky girl - donuts for dinner! Interesting post again. Thanks1

marianne said...

Yes my German tennis girlfriend told me about the carnival.
Those donuts look great the ones below we call here Berliner bollen Then they have some custard inside.
I love them. Long time since I had those............

Hugs for Gizzy!