My mom calls them, New Year's Cookies
If you grew up with this traditional Mennonite food, you can enjoy them at our Sale. Perhaps your mother, like mine, made them especially on New Year's day. In Low German or in Plautdietsch, Fritters would be called Portselkje.
According to Norma Jost Voth in her book, Mennonite Foods & Folkways from South Russia, Mennonites gave their Russian neighbors Portselkie when they came and sang for them on New Year’s Day. The “cookies” were a symbol of affluence and luxury and carried with them the wish for an abundant year.
Fritters are made from a spongy yeast batter with raisins and dropped into hot deep oil. The dough puffs up, tumbles over, and fries to a golden brown. The “cookies” are then rolled in sugar and are best when eaten when they are still warm.