It was a sunny, balmy winter afternoon in Vancouver, so all parents and children had made their way to the beach side playground for some swinging, see-sawing and running with sticks like little warriors (that always terrifies me, by the way). As I pushed my toddler son on the swings, I noticed a couple of families chatting nearby, whilst enjoying this delicious and tempting snack, which I later discovered was called angel wings cookies, or chrusciki in Polish. Curiously, I moved closer to the group, ogling the glass bowl in which these crispy little treats were nestled. At this point, my husband is starting to notice my strange behaviour, and is motioning me to return to the coop. Not only did I fail to listen, I started talking to the jovial angel wing eaters: “What are you eating? That looks good! Can I have some?”
What had gotten into me? I can’t explain it, but the group was kind enough to humour me. A Polish holiday, called Fat Thursday, had just elapsed, which involves the consumption of copious amounts of sweets in preparation for Lent, a time of penance and reflection, and when most Catholics forego temptation. So it made perfect sense for the group, who were incidentally Polish and observing the holiday, to kick back a bucket of angel wings like chips. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to stop at just one, either.
Despite my husband’s great embarrassment of my behaviour, I’m glad I talk to strangers and eat their food. I’m always bound to learn something new.