Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beginning the "Tithe of the Year"

The Great Fast begins tomorrow.  My soul heaves a big sigh, both in mourning for the loss of our luxuries (good-bye coffee creamer), and in relief from the excess.  All things return to God.  Let us sweep away all our distractions that keep us from true communion with our Creator.

Follow these links to Fasting time inspiration:

  • Thanks "Fear Not Little Flock," you are so often an inspiration in our Byzantine ritual.

7 Quick Takes on Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving for Lent

Suggestions on Keeping the Great Fast

And because it can be so difficult to come up with meatless dinner dishes, here are some ideas.  I will post more meatless meal ideas as they come and recipes later on.

My Menu Plan for Two Weeks:

For Breakfast: (break-fast, get it? This is a break in the fast.  If not restricted by childhood, health, or pregnancy, etc., skip breakfast) I have plain oatmeal.  To make oatmeal stick to the ribs a little longer add a couple teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil.  A couple slices of plain whole wheat toast are good too.  The keyword here is plain--no luxuries piled on top.

For Lunch: (I am pregnant, so this is my opportunity to eat meat while my husband is not around to be tempted.)  Hummus and crackers, Babaganouj and bread, pita, homemade pretzel knots, leftover Lenten soups from dinners, in smaller portions than served at dinner.

For Dinner:

Monday: week one - Orzo Tomato Soup; week two - Red Beans and Rice; Kid sub - condensed tomato soup and grill cheese sandwich

Tuesday: Not every meal has to be meatless; we do need to stock up on some days. This doesn't mean overindulging or eating lots of luxuries.  Traditionally the "strict fast" is kept on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  We eat meatless on M, W, F only, because we find it difficult to make it through otherwise.  Ever so often, we go meatless the entire fast and only eat meat on Sundays.

week one - Chicken Alfredo with spinach and pasta; week two - spaghetti and meatballs marinara

Wednesday: week one - Mexican black bean soup and tortilla chips; week two - Lentil soup and bread; Kid sub - cheese quesadillas

Thursday: both weeks - Cheese take and bake pizza from the grocery store

Friday:  week one - Fresh fish portion and boiled red potatoes; week two - (Gorton's) fried fish filets, french fries and corn

Saturday: week one - Burgers and fruit; week two - meat lasagna and salad

Sunday: week one - Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches and green beans; week two - Burgers and fruit

Another idea is that we are suppose to be giving up luxuries--therefore, I saved a ham bone and a turkey carcass from earlier in the year and will use them in soups over the Lenten period.  I never normally make a bone soup since we live in the land of plenty.  Usually if I make a soup for a meal I only make it for a meatless meal on a fasting day, because my husband says that soup is not a meal.

A final thought:

"Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood and perjury. Privation of these is true fasting." -St. Basil the Great



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