February 25, 2020 2 min read 1 Comment


By Lizzy Oparyk

It’s an annual tradition in my polish family heading into the Lent season to celebrate Fat Tuesday or Pączki Day, as my family calls it. We order our pączki ahead of time and indulge in this traditional Polish jelly-filled pastry known as a pączek (PON-check). The more commonly used name for the delicious treat is pączki (POONCH-kee), which is the plural pronunciation for this sweet treat.

For those of you who don’t know what Fat Tuesday or Pączki Day is, it’s a Catholic day of celebration, which takes place before Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. Polish immigrants, who brought these traditions with them to the United States would use this day to indulge in certain foods as a precursor to the traditional 40-day period of fasting leading to Easter. Many families, with strong Polish roots hold on to these important celebrations and over the years, many families who are not polish, have adopted this tradition.

These sweet treats that look like a classic jelly donut, are far richer with more fat and sugar in the yeast dough and don’t collapse when you bite into them. Pączki are pastries made from deep-fried flat dough with fruit or cream filling and are topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar. The traditional fruit filling is prune, but others include apricot, lemon, blueberry, raspberry and custard.

They Polish pączki, which most polish bakeries offer daily can usually only be found at most local bakeries on Fat Tuesday. Thankfully, Ellison’s, in downtown Sycamore offers these delicious treats once a year, and if you haven’t pre-ordered yours, get to your favorite bakery early, to get the best selections.

Whatever you end up doing or eating for Fat Tuesday, or Pączki Day, make sure you do it up in a sweet way and preferrably with a Pączki, or two in hand. 

What will you be indulging in today? What, if anything will you be giving up for Lent? To be held accountable for my Lent journey this year, I left a comment in the comment section below. Please feel free to do the same and together we can lift one another up and end Lent on a high note. 

Here are just a few ideas of what to give up:

  1. Sleep: Get up earlier to read scripture,  pray & exercise.
  2. Negativity: Focus on the positive!
  3. Complaining: Bite your tongue.
  4. Social Media: The modern day “chocolate”.
  5. Phones: Put your phone on vibrate except for certain times of the day.
  6. Drinks: Only drink water.
  7. Sugar: Cut the sweets!
  8. Screens: Eliminate screen time one day per week.
  9. Stuff: Go the minimalist route and purge something every day.
  10. Swearing: Kick those nasty words to the door.
  11. Selfishness: Do one nice thing for someone else every day.
  12. Forgetfulness: Make a list of people to pray for daily and follow up with them to see how they’re doing.
  13. Busyness: Make time for the things that matter like prayer, rest, and quality family time.
  14. Texting: Only call or use email.
  15. Caffeine: This may or may not be the best Lent ever.

1 Response


February 25, 2020

Lent is a time to reflect and renew. It’s a testing of faith and a calling to deepen my devotion to Christ. My journey is different each year, yet my doubt and weaknesses remain the same. I have to remind myself that these obstacles I face as well as pushing myself out of my comfort zone for 40 days is much easier than the trails Jesus had to face.
I lost myself in the daily operations of the boutique the last few years and step one started in January, which was allowing others to help me run the boutique; ordering fashions, accounting, marketing and other tasks I controlled. I am hoping that observing lent this year will give me the strength and perseverance to focus more on improving my heath, spiritually and what matters most in my life, my family. By restricting some aspects of my life and improving others, I am hoping that I will gain a greater appreciation for all the blessings in my life that I lost sight of by running the boutique. Blessings and prayers for all of us heading into Lent his year, together we can do this!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.