10 March 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

There is a funny little blog called Peas & Crayons that hosts a "What I Ate Wednesday" party.  (Apparently bloggers host parties a lot.  You are supposed to do something silly.  For example, post pictures of your grandparents and list their favorite foods, or create a step-by-step tutorial on the spray-painted decoupaged binder-clip holder that you made for your aunt last week.  Then you are supposed to link back to the blog that instructed you to do so.  In return, your blog might get a little more traffic from people who are interested in what people ate in the City of Newark, New Jersey, a hundred years ago.)

I stumbled on Peas & Crayons this morning (and, in the interest of full disclosure, I did not read the blog in its entirety, so I am not endorsing it in any way).  Apparently the Peas & Crayons lady wants people to post, on Thursday mornings, what they had for dinner on Wednesday night.

What a brilliant idea.  I'm in.

Yesterday, as you may or may not know, was a major Christian feast called Ash Wednesday.  It marks the beginning of a 40-day penitential season, known as Lent, that culminates in the very joyful holiday of Easter.  (If you have your calendar out and you are perplexed, please be advised that Sundays do not officially count as part of Lent.  It's 40 weekdays and Saturdays.  I could explain this to you in more detail, but we're talking about what I had for dinner last night, remember?  Try to focus.)

So all day yesterday, the faithful flocked to the churches of their choice to get that little telltale smudge of ashes put on their foreheads, to remind them that life is transitory.  Remember that dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return.

My new church has a 7:00 pm Ash Wednesday service, so my husband and I sped out of the city after work, unto a tiny hamlet near our home, put on our pious faces, and dashed in through the back door at approximately 7:04.  The service had begun, and our children were already there, sitting with their aunt and uncle a few pews ahead of us.

After the service, everyone went upstairs, and here's where we (finally) get to what I had for dinner last night.

It is apparently a tradition in this particular parish, on the second-most-somber day of the year, to have a pizza party.  I am not making this up.  Fifty people, all with filthy, smudged foreheads, chowing on pizza, soda, and, wonder of wonders, homemade desserts.  Yes, one of the ladies had spent her day making brownies and chocolate-chip cookies for fifty.  Forget that fasting thing.  This is about people who have dashed home from work and are hungry.  The priest was not totally comfortable with the whole thing, I could tell, but there was nothing to be done about it.  It's a tradition.  You can't mess with traditions, especially when they predate you.

And here's the kicker:  there was beer, too, brought by one of the guys in a little cooler, and handed out to the other guys with a wink and a nod.  Beer on Ash Wednesday.  My husband doesn't need to die.  He was already in heaven.

So that's what I had for dinner last night.  And I want you to know, dear blogosphere, that while it was loaded with fat and calories, and while I had more of it than I should have, and while it in no way demonstrates to the other bloggers how creative and health-conscious I am, it absolutely hit the spot.  Like most people, I go through times in my life when I doubt the existence of God and wonder whether all of this religion stuff isn't a big waste of effort.  Last night was not one of those times.

So there you have it.  Back to work before I get fired.  It is my hope that you will hear from me again before the weekend, but if not, have a wonderful weekend.

Jennie

6 comments:

Rev. K.T. said...

that is AWESOME! The fact that the paradox actually worked for you makes it even more amazing. How I love thee, Great Mystery that defies our human understanding!

Laura D said...

Man, I feel like such a stick in the mud. I broiled tilapia for dinner last night. Pizza and ashes sounds way more interesting. but if I ate that I feel like the spirit of my Catholic Nana would haunt me for all of Lent. She was crazy about all those fishtraditions...

Derek said...

I'm not very religious, but would certainly be interested in any church function that involved pizza and beer.

Tom Major said...

Can we go back to the forty days? Because I have been wondering about that ever since I counted and discovered that Sundays weren't included. So if Sundays don't count, does the Lenten sacrifice take a hiatus between Saturday night and Monday morning?

Jennie said...

Tom, traditions vary across denominations, but in our tradition Sundays are always a joyful celebration and so are exempted from any personal sacrifices. We do follow a more somber liturgy and avoid big celebrations like weddings (unless, you know, time is of the essence). So go ahead and indulge in chocolate on Sundays...

nalyn said...

You do have an additional reader to your numbers. i cut and paste and send for Joe to laugh and digest. so hope you hit 101. :8) Happy Lent...