Today’s post is not an interview but a guest post from my mother-in-law, Shirley, who gave up all meat except fish and shellfish for Lent this year. She has taken the time to reflect upon and document her journey. I hope to feature a follow-up post in a few weeks so we can hear her thoughts on the entire experience and how it has changed her relationship with food.
At the end of the post, I’ve included a recipe from Shirley’s friend Linda for a light & delicious orzo pasta salad. It would be the perfect accompaniment for grilled veggie burgers or kebabs.
March 4th, 2011:
I am not one to deny myself, and I do like eating meat. When Nicole asked if I eat meat every day, I reacted surprisedly and said ‘no’. But then I thought about it, and I do eat meat every day, I just don’t even think about it.
I was watching Top Chef and Kevin said that he and his wife give up meat for Lent every year. For some reason, that hit me and I thought I really wanted to do that.
My faith has become a lot more important to me in the last few years, and my interest in doing the “right thing” has, too, including limiting meat consumption for many reasons.
I do not know if I can do this thing that I would really like to do. Like I said, I give in to temptation pretty much immediately. So please wish me luck, or blessings, or whatever you believe in, and I will try to express my feelings about this journey if there is interest in such things. Everyone has something they know they should do to be “better” somehow, and I wish you all blessings on that journey, too!!!
So it has been 16 days since Ash Wednesday, and I have been commenting about how a meatless Lent (except fish) has not been difficult yet. I am more mindful about what I eat, but I worry that I am having too much fun with it, and that this should be a time of more sacrifice.
Going meatless (except fish) I feel a connection to my daughter-in-law, Nicole, and I want to understand her point of view. I also want to help my whole family be healthier.
Tonight I had the most wonderful tomato soup at Amici’s that I maybe would not have ordered if I were eating meat. I would have chosen something else off the menu. The shortage of choices at restaurants is actually a blessing-it’s easier to decide and I try more interesting things!
Nicole and I shopped for ingredients for her Mulligatawny soup we planned to serve for around 50 people at my church last Wednesday night. We were a little disappointed that there were many choices for large quantity (cheaper, more environmentally-conscious packaged) chicken broth, but NO mass quantities of veggie broth could be found!! We did fill out a complaint form about it. The blizzard caused cancellation of the soup supper, but I think we will reschedule to April 13 for those who would like to eat and worship with us, Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran in Northeast Mpls-hey, you can hear me play my flute, too! We are proud to be a Reconciling in Christ congregation, the only one in NE-of the Lutherans anyway!
Back to the journey at hand – I was also pretty disappointed when I bought a tub of potato salad (not German potato salad) and it had bacon bits in it!! Why would I expect that to be in my potato salad???!! There should have been at least a noticeable message on the label, like “Contains Bacon!!” Lots of people avoid pork, by the way.
I grew up on a farm and the animals had a great existence, for animals. They ran around, had a great summer and then in the autumn we butchered and ate them. For a farm girl, this is very natural and organic. I may have to rethink this, especially after Nicole makes me watch Food Incorporated. I do want to learn more, even if it makes my life harder. Others have much harder lives, look at Japan.
Pasta: 1 ½ cup orzo, cooked (I use a 16 oz bag of orzo)
1 medium zucchini, cubed
10 Kalamata olives, sliced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and cubed
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t dried oregano
1 T minced fresh fresh dill or 1 t dried dill
¼ t salt
Black pepper to taste
Mix veggies together, add to orzo. Pour dressing over all and coat. Then add in this order:
4 oz crumbled feta
2 T mayo (Hellman’s)
Toss to coat, refrigerate
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