a couple weeks ago after a long run i was listening to a news article about paczki’s day (a polish holiday celebrated on the thursday (“fat thursday”) prior to lent) & i began to ask myself whether there was a single holiday that i would associate with good healthy eating. the tradition of paczki day is to use up all the forbidden food ingredients (lard, sugar, eggs, & fruit) that are in the house prior to lent & the result is the paczki.
a paczki is basically what we americans call donuts – they are deep fried donuts that are filled with either a sweet jam or pastry cream. a jam filled paczki on average is 450 calories with 25 grams of fat & a pastry cream filled paczki packs up to 650 calories with 30+ grams of fat. here i had just finished a 12 mile run & was recovering with a cup of coffee & large bowl of oatmeal & i was listening to these people talk about eating between 3 – 12 paczkis in a single sitting. the news article was describing how folks will line up for blocks outside bakeries in cities like detroit, chicago, & milwaukee waiting to get their hands on some paczkis.
i started rattling through the various holidays we celebrate here the US & i began pairing them up with the most common foods associated with holiday…
valentine’s day: chocolate & more chocolate
st. patricks: beer & potatoes
easter: baskets filled with candy & chocolate to include the infamous cadbury crème egg
the 4th of july: hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, ice cream, & pies
halloween: baskets (grocery bags) even larger than those used for easter filled with hard candies, chocolate bars, & sugary other goodies
thanksgiving: excessively large meal followed by pumpkin, apple, & pecan pies
christmas: egg nog & cookies, an excessively large meal very similar to thanksgiving followed by more pies, homemade candies, & things like peanut brittle
& then there is new years! new year’s day is famous for folks eating lots of healthy blacked-eyed peas. the blacked-eyed pea of course is associated with good luck & fortune & while the majority of people aren’t fans of the blacked-eyed pea they’ll at least eat them on this day. so if you tell folks their luck will change for the better then maybe they’ll put down the cookie & pies for a day & go for something better.
is it true that new year’s day is the only holiday associated with eating food that is good for you? i suppose it makes since that the most popular day for people going on a diet, starting to workout, giving up cigarettes, etc. should be associated with good food. of course two months later (feb – valentine’s day) the diet is over & these same people are now enjoying decadent chocolates & the following month (mar – st. patrick’s day) these same people can drown their sorrows & unachieved diets with beer & potatoes :).