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Quality Baked Goods In the German Tradition Since 1930
4164 Barnett St., Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA 19135

Fastnacht 2021... begins in a day!


Fastnacht 2020
At the close of the day on Saturday, I neatly packed up all the cupid and heart decorations and began putting the German CD's in the radio. Though my caption reads "Fastnacht 2021... begins in a day", for all of us at Haegele's it began a while ago with the ordering of supplies, the folding of boxes, and the planning that goes into the two day event that causes all other operations at the bakery to cease, so that we can focus on nothing but Fastnacht doughnuts. The work is heavy but it is not a burden to our hearts. It's a privilege to be able to authentically carry on a tradition so steeped in our German heritage and rooted in faith-based awareness. Fastnacht is a celebration filled with festivities and food and a time to indulge before the fasting season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. Using up all the sugar and fat in the house was a way to ensure a more faithful fast. Using up yeast was a way to purify the house with the beginning of Lent leading to Holy Week and Easter. So put sugar, and yeast, and "fat" in the form of heavy cream together and you have a fastnacht. Course, it's not as simple as that and the traditional procedure is quite intricate and time consuming. There are certainly shortcuts to all things but at Haegele's we value the tradition. And so on Monday and Tuesday, our bakers will stand for countless hours rolling and hand cutting and sugaring diamonds of dough while a counter crew fancied in German Dirndl dresses boxes those diamonds by the dozen tied up with string. As I looked through last year's pictures of Fastnacht, the above picture captured my heart especially since this post is being written on Valentine's Day. As my sons take their place at the bench I am certain their father will be in their hearts. Glen often said he felt a connection to the generations that went before him just by standing in the very place they stood. The bakery is a special place that way, and it is indeed a privilege to carry on tradition. Faith, hard work, and the love of family is quite a recipe for life!

                                              Fastnacht 2021 posted 2/14/21