Let me tell you a little something about faschnaut day…. ⠀⠀
When I was a kid, my family did not celebrate this deep-fried day. I grew up in Dutch country, but we boasted an Italian heritage.
My only memory of faschnaut day revolves around a sleep over at a friend’s house. I woke up at the crack of dawn sick to my stomach. Her mom was shuffling in the kitchen. I remember a distinct smell. I made my way into the kitchen in hopes that my friend’s mom, like my mom, had the power to cure upset stomachs in a jiff. ⠀⠀
The kitchen held a delightful discovery; faschnaut day! What was it? A yearly holiday when every scrap of flour was deep fried and coated with sugar; readily available for our gluttonous consumption. I suddenly questioned if Italians really were the food gurus they claimed to be.
The sparkle of the golden brown, still warm, greased soaked sugared rounds, called to me.
I took a bite of my first faschnaut ever. But when that sugary goodness melted on my tongue and the tendered dough hit my teeth, I realized why I had awoken in a wave of nausea.
I instantly put down my treat. I needed to go home. After hours of frying I felt the air was thick with oil. It was a smell I wasn’t used to and a taste I couldn’t force myself to overcome. ⠀
And ever since then – the aroma of faschnauts cooking makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t smell it. I can’t taste it. In fact, I can’t even think about it. Donuts yes. Faschnauts no. I guess I really am Italian.
The point of this day is to rid the house of any type of fat and sugar, in preparation for Lent. Lent of course, is the denial of something to prepare your heart for the season of the Resurrection.
The thought is you give up something you love. This allows you to replace that thing with Jesus; whom you are actually supposed to love more than the thing you’re giving up.
And so my lesson has been learned. May I give anything up that takes me away from Jesus. May even the thought of it, or the wiff of it, make me so sick to my stomach I want to run home.
I just want to love Jesus. May any other sweetly satisfying promised delight make me sick when I compare it to him.