Only in York County

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Some fastnacht fun for the week of Fat Tuesday

Paul A. Neiman of Dover wrote to me after reading a column about fastnachts in a December edition of the York Sunday News, saying, “I thought you would like this of my mom, from the 1979 morning paper.”

Ask-Joan-Neiman-blog

While I’m only showing part of the article here, featuring a photo of Paul’s mother, Clara, there are some cool notes from it that I want to share in honor of all of the fastnacht awesomeness that’s being eaten this week. (I had mine – from Saubel’s, which has a great bakery – and while I’m feeling much fatter, I’m quite happy, too!)

Clara Neiman was quoted in the article that she has never been able to write down a recipe or procedure for anyone else to follow, just working the dough until it feels “right.” I laughed when I read that, because my own mother is the same way – we’ve long joked that if I knew what “right” was, I wouldn’t need the recipe.

The article also mentions that Mrs. Neiman grew up on a farm near Jefferson speaking only Pennsylvania Dutch at home, and learned to make fastnachts from her own mother, Lovina Rohrbaugh.

I would love to hear more about the fastnacht-making traditions of other families in the area. Do you still use a family recipe, or, like me, do you go crazy for the store-bought variety? (I do admit, though, that I don’t like MOST store-bought fastnachts.)

Would love to hear!

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