Monday, December 1, 2008

"Don't it always seem to go...You don't know what you've got till it's gone!" And so it is. Habits, traditions and cultures change over time...and one day we realize that things aren't like they used to be. I grew up in a community where everyone had the same meal on a Sunday afternoon...and that meal was called 'faspa' (a low German word for a light meal). As I wasn't always so light! If it was at my grandmother's home, it generally consisted of potato salad, cold meats, fruit salad, cheese and pickles...

...and double-decker buns called zwiebacks. And that was just the beginning...then came all the baked goodies, which included platz (fruit streusel), pastries, and assorted cookies. The premise behind 'faspa' seemed to be that the food was all prepared on Saturday...making Sunday a true day of rest. Some time back, our pastor shared his experience of being invited out to 'faspa'. Being totally unfamiliar with the term, he thought it would be a banquet of sorts...and was rather disappointed with the 'dry bun and cheese' he was served. Since it sounded nothing like the 'faspa' I remembered...I decided it was time to re-visit the faspa of my childhood...and invite the pastor and a few other friends to share in the meal. I sent out a proper invitation on appropriate stationery...


...well, it seemed fitting for a meal from the past! I baked my mom-in-laws zwiebacks...and (although they will never look as nice as hers) they turned out O.K. Although many of the other offerings of Sunday faspa are optional...zwiebacks are a staple! I baked Anneliese's platz, Lovella's pie-by-the-yard, my mom's crumb cake...I can see why they needed a day of rest after preparing food all day Saturday! I pulled out the good china...and brewed Pastor Ron's favorite coffee. What fun we had with friends around the Sunday afternoon faspa table...enjoying all those dishes we used to have at Grandma's table. Who would have thought that we would one day want to re-live faspa? You don't know what you have...until it's gone! For the rest of was a trip down memory lane. For Ron and was Faspa 101! Maybe we'll do it again sometime (not too soon,'s a lot more work than my usual Sunday meals!). One other thing that made the afternoon most special...

...was the view to the west as our guests arrived. What amazing sunsets we have enjoyed this past week!

Have a wonderful day! 


  1. Oh I love faspas and we still try to hold onto that tradition at least for some Sundays but really I don't go all out with so many sweet choices! But that is such a fun idea to invite those who don't know what faspa is! I must do that soon, that could be an adventure itself to find someone..

  2. What a delightful post! Your invitations are hysterical! As I was reading "Pie-by-the-yard", I envisioned a long table covered in assorted pies. I'm so glad you included a link to the true meaning of the term--looks delicious.

  3. Another tradition that I have never heard of before. Sounds great if someone like you or your grandmother does the cooking...that dried biscuit thing wouldn't have worked for me either. LOL!

    That is one exquisite sunset! Hope that you have many, many more to enjoy this season.

  4. Thank-you for sharing Vaspa with me.
    What a delightful treat to share around your supper evening.
    I can guarantee folks, that you will all want to do Vaspa at Judy's.

  5. oh I love faspa. Yours looks just perfect. . I could imagine the table all perfect for company. ..and the invitation what a perfect and fun way to invite your pastor over.
    I saw that sunset too but with the neigbors barn in the way of easy shots. .I just craned my neck. . thank you for showing me the whole thing. . .

  6. Judy, we caught that same sunset on camera yesterday too . . . wasn't it amazing! We also had company for vaspa and it's a meal we still do every Sunday. I've cut down on the sweets . . . one dessert will do, but we have buns, jam, cheese, tuna or cold cuts, veggies. I love it cause it's the simples dinner we have all week... and the kids know they can drop in at a moments notice. Love you invites!

  7. Doesnt that sound good! I have not heard the term faspa, but the meal is not unlike what we in England called 'High tea'....cold meats, salads, bread and butter, cakes, or even trifles!

  8. Judy, you had the most clever invitations. I had never heard of faspa. It sounded wonderful. Yummy, yummy! I forgot you guys weren't chowing down on the turkey and everything else that goes with it Thursday. I would imagine that your pastor and his wife loved the meal and the company. Also, what an amazing sunset. Praise the Lord for so many blessings!

  9. This sounds like a wonderful tradition, but I'm with you on making it only for special occasions. I like my weekends to be a time of rest after a long work week.

    By the way, the two of you look quite nice. ;-)

  10. What a sunset! Just gorgeous!

    I've learned soemthing new from you tonight Judy --I never hear of faspas. My daughter-in-law's grandmother was born in Germany, so I will ask her if her family had faspas on Sunday when she was growing up.

    Your zwiebacks look delicious. I've only known them as a hard cookie we gave the babies when they were teething. I must try some of your wonderful recipes.

  11. Hi!! Is your family background Mennonite? Holdeman Mennonites have faspas after evening church...
    Warm greetings,
    Rhonda in Montreal

  12. I know this is an old post and you may never find my comment; but I am MAKING this the first week in April with recipes you've mentioned--when my tax accountant comes to pick up my box.

    She will be so motivated to do my taxes real good.

    I'll probably have to make borscht or something too, just to make sure our blood sugar doesn't go thermonuclear.

    I love this word "faspa" and the idea of this custom. Thanks!

  13. I just read your "" after we had a "Celebration Faspa" yesterday with our 97 year old mother, who just returned back to her own apartment after breaking her pelvis 2 months ago. She has prepared many Faspas through the years, but we seldom have them any more. This time I baked the zwieback, and we had a wonderful Mother's Day, thanking God that Mom can again be in her own home.

  14. Oh, how I miss faspas! Yes, every Sunday night at Grandpa and Grandma Froese's. Afterward, us cusins would watch Walt Disney, while the men sat in the livingroom talking "farm", and the ladies would be in the kitchen cleaning up and talking plaut deutch! We were sure they were talking about how naughty us kids were!

  15. Dear Judy. It's amazing what we "stumble onto" while on our computers.

    Reading your blog on faspa took me back decades to carefree Sunday afternoons with friends and family. For us faspa was always the meal we had before evening church on Sunday. Once in a while we were treated to plumi moos for dessert (still one of my favourites!) I'll always recall these times with warmth and a sadness that I've lost touch with so many of the people I once called friends.

    Thanks for the good memory!



'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson