As a child I don't remember my mother making vast quantities of pancakes on pancake Tuesday, as a matter of fact it wasn't until we went to elementary school that pancakes were even introduced to us. The pancakes North America eats anyway. We often had potato pancakes, with sour cream or applesauce, but I'm sure we didn't indulge in Aunt Jemima stuff.
What did these poor sheltered Polish children do you ask ? WELL my mother and every woman in the Polish community would make wonderful PACZKY, thick plum jam filled donuts and then we'd have a community dance/BALL PACZKOWY. A local band would provide the music, and we'd all have a blast. There would be dozens and dozens of donuts/packy to enjoy. And you didn't leave your kids at home, I think I may have been 12 when I first attended, not sure who stayed with my younger brother and sister, cause even Pani Stachowa went to these things. The Polish Newspaper, Zwiazkowiec in conjunction with the many organizations, would sponsor a Miss Polonia contest and this would be one of the events where a young woman would be chosen to represent her particular group/city/community. Since I don't have daughters, and my husband and I don't really belong to a Polish community group outside of our church I'm not sure who's having the dance this year, but you can bet your bippy there will be more than one. Enjoy your Aunt Jemima and I'll be indulging in Paczi. Happy Tuesday.