Off the Menu

There are two things that will be off the menu for a while starting tomorrow. We didn’t just give things up… we made substitutions. And those substitutions need to be re-replaced for a while:

Nuts:  Nuts were always one of our preferred snacks even before the fast. They taste good, they are healthy and they satisfy little hunger attacks pretty fast. They are also ideal to take with you. You don’t need to cool them or heat them up and you don’t even have to fear any messes eating them. But there is too much of a good thing… Cashews, pecans, and walnuts became our main snack during lent. And this means we are probably going to stay away from them for a while.

Banana bread: I would say that we mastered banana bread making in the last 40 days. We probably came up with 38 varieties – most of them really yummy. We baked banana breads with cocoa, carob, nuts, raisins, banana chips, applesauce, almonds, homemade granola, etc. – to list just a few. So we should almost be able to write a cook book that only contains banana bread recipes. And I’m very thankful for all of them. They got us through the tough times where we really wanted to have just a little cookie or a piece of nice coffee cake. Still, I think we need to take a little banana bread break.

So it looks like we need a little fast from some of our “fast foods”. I’m sure they’ll make a comeback pretty soon.

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Change

We are in a period of change. A lot is happening in our house right now. It’s really not the right time for a fast, I have to say. This is a time of convenience. A time where things have to go fast at times. A time where planning is hard.

Yet I believe there is a reason for why these times overlap. It seems that stressful times test us. Who can make a meal from scratch when they have all the time in the world? Probably most of us. It’s a special treat for me to spend some quiet time in the kitchen preparing a wholesome meal for my family. It’s a joy.

Who can make a meal from scratch when they have about 25 minutes left and the kitchen needs to be cleaned and ready for show-time an hour later? There might be still many of us who can do it, but the enjoyment shrinks noticeably. These are the times where we want to believe in advertisements that tell us that this quick meal takes the stress out of our hectic lifestyle. We wish to disregard our commitment and give into the “quick fix”.

Yet these are the times where it is most important to take the time. To eat well, for once. And to make room for some quiet family time.

There is a reason why we are fasting right now. There is a very good reason why we are forced to slow down in a time where we are tempted to go, go, go. I hope I will remember this in the stressful times to come.

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