I was watching television yesterday and something flashed across the screen that reminded me that today was Ash Wednesday. I grew up as an Episcopalian. I was baptized, had my first communion and confirmation at Saint Peter’s Church in Springfield, MA. I was even a Sunday School assistant for a while. I used to help my Nana prepare after church meals in the kitchen on the lower level; I always loved when she made her cream of broccoli soup.
I stopped going to church when I was about 14 years old. I’m not sure what the catalyst for my departure was but I remember my mother and I fighting about the topic. I also remember that she got to the point where she wasn’t interested in trying to force me to participate any longer. I didn’t go to church again regularly until I was in my early twenties. My return to the church was for all the wrong reasons; which is probably why it was so short lived.
I go to church on occasion since then, mostly when I am invited or visiting back home. Religion is a delicate subject. I do not actually claim any religion. I believe strongly in a higher power. So strongly in fact that I do not understand how anyone can believe that any one human is worthy of idle worship.
Clearly, when you look to the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars and when you look to the sea and the mountains I am easily reminded of my place in the order of the universe. And while I believe I am the master of my universe ( I certainly know how to live in my own world), I know there is a universe, a power…galaxies larger, stronger, more complex than I may ever understand.
After seeing the segment that reminded me of Ash Wednesday, I got the bright idea to give up something for Lent. I considered a few different vices to attempt denying myself from but settled on removing animal products from my diet until the Easter feast. It makes perfect sense that I choose this vice; I am always saying I need to eat less meat. I have gone vegan before for a month or so and I loved the benefits to my health. My skin was clear, all systems worked at maximum potential. It was a good experience for me.
Then main reason I went back to eating meat is because I am surrounded by carnivores. Well, I guess technically we are omnivorous but you know what I am saying. As a home chef, it’s hard to entertain for others when you don’t eat what you are serving. In theory, I would like to be able to eat meat only at holiday but it doesn’t go down like that. I do take days off from eating meat randomly.
So here’s the menu for day one of this journey:
Breakfast: Coffee w/ vanilla soy creamer and crystallized cane sugar. (I prefer my coffee this way.) & an apple.
Lunch: Whole wheat elbow pasta salad made with sweet peas, pearl onions, parsley, garlic power, salt, pepper, tomatoes & olive oil.
Dinner: Cubed sweet potatoes, a small diced onion, minced garlic & ginger, a spoonful of fresh ground peanut butter coated with a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil…seasoned with a lil curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt & pepper…baked til done, then sprinkled fresh cilantro & toasted almonds on top…I can’t stop eating it. I also made some cabbage, Basmati rice & black beans but I don’t know if I’m going to get to that stuff because I am so stuck on the sweet potatoes.
Drinks for the day: water & mint iced tea.
I will keep you posted on the progress. If you are giving up something for Lent or fasting for any reason stay strong! You can do it…