Today, also known as Fastnacht (German for “eve of fast”) and Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”), is the last day before Lent begins in the Christian calendar.
In the Cajun country of Louisiana, a rich gumbo served over rice is the traditional Mardi Gras feast.
For the Pennsylvania Dutch, Shrove Tuesday means Fastnacht kuche, a special, deep-fried doughnut baked and eaten only on this day. A similar deep-fried cake called oliebollen is eaten in Holland, and jelly-filled buns called paczki are made in Poland.
Maybe the best-known tradition is Shrove Tuesday pancakes, traditionally fried to use up all cooking fats (forbidden during Lent).
Shrove Tuesday Lore
When the Sun is shining on Shrovetide Day, it is meant well for rye and peas.
Thunder today foretelleth wind, store of fruit, and plenty.
So much sun as shines on Shrove Tuesday, so it shines all Lent.
Which means it's gonna be sunny in Phoenix, boy howdy. Evenings have been cool, but the days quite warm (76 was the high today). February. Yii. I actually enjoy having a little winter, when we get it. They are saying, though, that this year's snowfall will actually help fight the drought. If only it lasts...
We did not have pancakes for dinner, though. Too many leftovers in the house, so it was a leftover night. Although I am now full from said leftovers, I WANT SOMETHING. I don't know what. SOMETHING.
I have written nothing in days. I am feeling very ambivolent about my writing. I want to write it. I'd love to see it read. I lack the drive and the confidence to get it out there. Sometimes I totally suck. Enough of that.
I haven't decided if I'm going to give anything up for Lent (<--giving lip service to having been raised Catholic). I was reading a very amusing opinion article in this month's Scientific American discussing Oklahoma Senator Jame Inhofe's foibles (amongst them the denial of Global Warming and the Earth is, so, less than 6,000 years old, and the banana proves it). I know it's possible to believe in God (or a god, or many gods) and still not be, well, stupid. It just bothers me that so many Americans seem to go with the Belief in God = Idiocy. Seriously, I know the Bible was written by human beings and is largely presented in parable. Walking through the small but impressive exhibits at Red Rock State Park should be more than enough to convince anyone that the Earth is billions and billions and billions of years old.
Laissez les bon temps rouler, y'all.