I don't buy paczkis for Fat Tuesday, or any other day of the year. I don't make paczkis either. I do not acknowledge their existence. Guess I'm a paczki scrooge.
You see, I lived approximately 25 years of my life without ever hearing the term "paczki". And when I did hear of it, it was on a bakery/grocery store ad. They were promoted as the gotta have it item, available only one day of the year. Sounded like commercialism striking again, to me.
Hmmm. Research. . . What I found out was that the word is Polish. And the custom of eating paczkis the day before Ash Wednesday is originally Catholic.
I'm not Polish. I'm by far, mostly stubborn German, with a bit of stubborn Scots-Irish thrown in, and a sprinkling of Cherokee. It's hard for me to even pronounce paczki right, and really, I don't care much if I do. I have no desire to speak Polish.
I'm not Catholic; I'm Lutheran. To be called Catholic is about the worst insult you can give a devout Lutheran. We do not want to give people the impression we are Catholic. Oh no, that would be grievous.
So I was suspicious of this paczki on Fat Tuesday thing. I didn't buy any. My poor children were deprived, missing out on what most of their friends' mothers bought for them.
A year or two later, I actually ate one. It was given to me by a friend, who had bought some--now available for a week before Fat Tuesday--and I didn't want to be rude by refusing it. So I ate it.
It was a dang jelly doughnut.
I don't know what all the hoopla is about paczkis and get them now while you can, because the thing I ate was most definitely a jelly doughnut, and jelly doughnuts are available year round. Maybe real paczkis aren't, but the 'paczkis' in the stores around me are just jelly doughnuts with a sticker on the label that says 'paczki'.
This year, paczkis have been available for three entire weeks. Three whole weeks of jelly doughnuts masquerading as something special and sacred. I'll be darned if I spend money on that!
Besides, I don't even care for jelly doughnuts. If I'm going to eat a doughnut, it's going to be a long john, with custard filling and chocolate on top. Otherwise, I'll quite willingly abstain from doughnut eating.
So, my kids are still deprived of paczkis. All because their mother is a paczki scrooge.