Monday, February 15, 2010

Mardi Gras - Apple Fritters from Normandy! BTW Eat up your bacon and sausage!

Mardi Gras--"Fat Tuesday"--is upon us! Lent is about to begin. Lent will get us ready for Easter. Mardi Gras cheers us as we start Lent.

So it's time to eat up your bacon and sausage, and almost time to start fasting and abstaining from meat--and from other favorite foods and drinks. (We'll be discussing all this a good deal in coming weeks.)

So back--briefly!--to Mardi Gras, with its many traditional pancakes and crèpes, its Russian blinis with caviar and sour cream, and, for the French, Apple Fritters. In A Continual Feast, on p. 236, there is a glorious recipe for deep-fried Apple Fritters, from Normandy. (There are other Mardi Gras recipes in the book, as well.)

Let me add a little reminiscence and reflection on these Apple Fritters--and on the power of food in Christian family life. One of our primary purposes as mothers (and fathers and other cooks) is to make the life in our family as fun, as interesting, as meaningful, and as memorable as we possibly can. And food is one of our most powerful tools--our greatest helpers--in this. When my children were away at college, they always tried to get home for Mardi Gras--for those Apple Fritters; they didn't want to miss them! And they would bring a friend or two along with them. They all wanted to be home especially for this ritual meal--and those beautiful, delectable Fritters!

These are the rich opportunities that the Christian year, with its many different moments and seasons, and its powerful messages, gives to us. It is a great gift.


  1. Looking forward to trying this on an upcoming Sunday in lent- when we are allowed to indulge a little, right?!

  2. A slightly simpler recipe (but equally tasty) is what the Austrians call "Apfel im Schlafrock" (apples in dressing gown) - with a hint of cinamon... A great desert.


  4. Does anyone have the Apfel im Schlafrock recipe?

  5. Apfel im Schlafrock comes in many variants - the simplest one (my granny's favourite) was to put slices of apples into dough for pancakes and then fry them brown; when ready, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Any variant is allowed of course!

  6. Gosh, that sounds good! Need to try that!