Well, we’re almost in the home stretch, so to speak, with two weeks left in the Lenten Season. As the case has been, since Lent started, we begin the week with some changes to the meal schedule. Of course, outside events have had an impact already, but also, for the first time, I am looking at a weekly menu and finding a lack of variety. So, here’s the original menu:
- Sunday – lahm mishwe (shish kabob), hummous, fried eggplant and tabouli
- Monday – pasta with white beans and shrimp
- Tuesday – fava beans (fresh, if available) or butter beans with risotto or polenta
- Wednesday – pasta with arugula, tomato and garlic
- Thursday – corn and black bean pizza
- Friday – miso with soba and cabbage
- Saturday – quinoa with tofu (and chicken for the boys)
So here’s my beef (no pun intended!), beans on Monday, beans on Tuesday, beans on Thursday(?). Pasta on Monday and Wednesday with RISOTTO or POLENTA in the middle. Might as well have pasta all three days. Ok, ok, I know, in Italy they may well eat pasta EVERY DAY, but despite the fact that my husband is Sicilian, and loves Italian food, it does seem a bit much! Then of course, pizza follows. Oy vey! (sorry, don’t know the Italian equivalent).
Also, I helped my wonderful friend, Lisa, throw a party for her wonderful (and now three-year old) daughter, Grace and her most wonderful and excellent parents, Bonnie and Stash. (that’s pronounced “St-ah-sh”, not “Stash”, like the tea). There was leftover baked ziti from the party, and so Vini and the kids ate ziti last night, and I ate veggies. So here’s the new and improved weekly menu:
- Monday – lahm mishwe (shish kabob), hummous, fried eggplant and tabouli (I’ll eat everything but the mishwe)
- Tuesday – shrimp stir fry (see how easy that was!)
- Wednesday – pasta with clam sauce (I AM going to eat pasta with clams! I AM, I AM, I AM!!!
- Thursday – corn and black bean pizza for me. I’ll be heading over to Seaside in the afternoon, so I have no idea what the rest of the family will eat. Although, I’d put my money on Popeye’s chicken or Cannon’s ribs. (mmmmm, riiiiiiiiibs)
- Friday – miso with soba and cabbage (why mess with a good thing!)
- Saturday – (ditto) for the quinoa, tofu and chicken.
I love typing out these menus each week. I look forward to all the delicious food I am fortunate enough to eat. I feel blessed to have such variety, so many healthy foods available to me, and the time to prepare it all!
When I sat down to plan these menus, I made up menus through this week, leaving the next two weeks open. I plan to go through the menus of the last several weeks, and choose the foods I enjoyed the most. It’s not that I think that fasting should be free of suffering, it’s just that I think that the intentional abstention from foods I normally eat is the sacrifice. Part of the joy of fasting for me, is knowing that God created such a variety of food sources for us that we can easily go without that which we normally enjoy and yet, still thrive.
I feel so grateful, as I Fast, that this is TRULY an option for me. So many people in the world, the vast majority, in fact, have very few food choices. They eat what is available to them, both in form and in quantity, and they must be satisfied with that, regardless of whether or not they find it enjoyable, adequately nutritious, or sufficient to appease their hunger. I, on the other hand, have virtually unlimited choices regarding what I eat. I can eat a tremendously varied diet: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, French Bistro, Italian, Jewish Deli, German, Middle Eastern, Nigerian, Mexican, Latin American, Swedish (ikea?), Hawaiian, Southern (fried chicken, hush puppies), oh, yeah, Cajun and Creole, that’s just what I could come up with without stopping to think! And even though we’re probably somewhere around middle class, or lower middle class, I still have enough money to eat and eat and eat until I couldn’t possibly eat any more. All day, every day. Blessed with every abundance imaginable. And that’s just food. So it’s good to make choices and learn to reign in the physical passions, and Lent is the blessing through which we can do that (one of the ways, anyway!).
“God, thank You for Lent. Thank You for the abundance in my life, and thank You for helping me practice self control.”