I loved this New York Times article about Super Tuesday, because it's kind of how I feel. I had to go to a few (yes, a few) different polling places this morning before I got to put in my two cents. Add placing-a-provisional-ballot-and-my-vote-being-pointless-fear to my list of irrational fears.
Also, I just had my first first culture shock in a couple years when I tried to explain Fat Tuesday to my Californian co-workers. So in honor of my Eastern/Irishness I'm putting in a recipe for Polish Paczki (people in Detroit call them poonch-key, which I am sure is correct but I'm like, incapable of saying it that way and so always murder the pronunciation.) Yes, they're Polish but I'm telling you, in my experience Irish-American Catholics are also way down.
1 ½ cups milk
2 envelopes yeast
1 tsp. Salt
½ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. mace or ½ tsp. Nutmeg
½ cup butter or margarine
4 ½ cups flour
Scald milk and allow it to cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in milk.
Add sugar and butter and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, salt, and flavoring.
Add flour and milk gradually, mixing well.
Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 2 ½ hours).
Punch down, knead, and let rise again for about 1 hour.
Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead.
Pinch off balls of dough about 1 ½” in diameter.
Deep fry in very hot oil, turning when needed. Fry until dark brown, or it won’t be cooked through.
Let cool and fill.
You will need a pastry bag (bought cheaply at most stores…even dollar stores) with a long nozzle. Fill the bag with either jelly or the custard recipe below:
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup flour
1 ½ cup milk
6 large egg yolks
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
In a saucepan, mix sugar and flour together.
Gradually whisk in milk, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for one minute, whisking constantly.
Strain through a sieve into a bowl to get out the clumps.
Press plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a film from forming. Chill for 30 minutes.
When chilled, place in pastry bag and fill Paczki.
Mix 2 ½ cups powdered sugar and 2 tblsp. honey. Add water until consistency is rather thick. Too much water and it will be runny. You want the glaze to stay on the Paczki as much as possible.,Spoon onto the Paczki and enjoy.