With Valentine’s Day this past week, I wanted to find out what the people in
did to celebrate Valentine’s Day and if they had any special traditions. Eh, not so much. If they celebrate, they do like we do here in Switzerland ; send flowers, candy (especially chocolate! Oh, yum, Swiss chocolate is one of my slices of heaven), and spend time with the one they love. I found some beautiful floral arrangements from a Swiss floral shop called Blumen Kaspar. America
And I found out that there is a Swiss chocolate confectionery called Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland. My ancestors were Teuschers! Seems pretty appropriate for my family of chocolate lovers. Look at this gorgeousness!
Anyway, the Swiss people have only recently started celebrating Valentine’s Day, so it is most unlikely our ancestors celebrated it. However, there is another celebration that happens this time of year that they do celebrate and have been since the Middle Ages.
It is Fasnacht and is mainly celebrated in the town of
. As I understand it, it’s one big, rockin’ party! Think Mardi Gras. “Fasnacht is the last wild splurge before Lent, the ancient Christian period of fasting, self reflection, penance, and abstinence from meat beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 days until Easter. Corresponding to Mardi Gras, Carnival, and similar celebrations...” (The Basel Encyclopedia). They dress up, carry lights through the middle of the street, dance, and sing all night long. I also learned about a treat they make for this holiday and thought I’d give it a try. They are Fasnachtsküchlein (Fasnacht, Kuchen=cake, klein=little, Fasnacht little cakes). Here is the link to the recipe. I changed it a tiny bit. I had to convert the flour from grams to cups and I added some whole wheat flour to make them more “healthy.” And as I’m not skilled at making rosettes in frying oil, I cut circles out of the dough, made the rosettes, and then fried them. West Virginia
1 ¼ c. white flour
½ c. whole wheat flour
1 t. salt
3 T cream
Coconut fat or deep-frying oil
Mix flour and salt. Beat eggs. Add eggs and cream to flour. Knead until dough is soft and even. Rinse a bowl with hot water, cover the dough with the bowl and leave it alone for about 30 min. Roll out dough as thin as you can get it. Cut out large circles. Form into rosettes and fry both sides until yellow. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
They sure looked pretty!
My response? Good, but as I’ve been hopelessly Americanized when it comes to sugar, they weren’t nearly sweet enough. Oh, well. My husband, children, and little neighbor boy loved them. I think I’ll go buy myself some Lindt truffles and call it good. Guten Fasnacht! J