It’s that time of year again, that donutty time of year which falls on the day before Lent begins. Many Polish-American Catholic families round up the fats and flours in the household and use them to make paczki, the jam-filled donut, and call it Paczki Day. Others go out and celebrate in the streets.
Me? Each year, I desperately launch into a Google project to find a Polish bakery, a single Polish bakery on the West Coast, that might sell them to me, and celebrate by going to a crummy donut shop when I fail. Then I write to a bunch of people and wish them a Happy Paczki Day, with my wishes that the next year will bring fat fortune.
Yesterday, as I was celebrating in my traditional way, I was pleased to see there is at least one confirmed place in the PNW that sells paczki: a market in Seattle. It then occurred to me that we have a new donut outfit in Eugene. Holy Donuts makes organic, vegan donuts in novel flavors. I had seen the donuts at our local Friendly Street Market, the Saturday Market, Market of Choice, Sundance, New Frontier, The Kiva, and other places around town.
So I gave owner Karen Nunley a call and asked her to make me a dozen paczki-style donuts, filled with raspberry jam. They arrived on my doorstep this morning, and we are finally celebrating Paczki Day in style.
The donuts are fresh and cakey, with a filling that tastes of real raspberries and a vanilla glaze. They are very sweet, but I forgive them that, since a non-sweet donut would be ostracized in the donut community. I believe the filled ones need to be special-ordered until Holiday Market rolls around. Karen told me that she’s planning to open up a shop in midtown in the near future. Stay tuned…we might be able to go out for Paczki Day next year!
Thanks, Karen, and Happy Paczki Day to all!