Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beginning Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday.  Some people this week reflecting on Pope Benedict's announcement that he will retire have joked:" so, what are you giving up for Lent?"  I suppose I find that funny.  Pope John Paul II was very young when selected at conclave to lead the Catholic Church.  I have to remember that when I think about how charismatic and well loved he was.  I remember reading that in his life he circumnavigated the globe over thirty times during his Papacy.

I keep this in mind remembering Pope Benedict was much older than he when taking his post.  Pope John Paul II was Pope for three decades of my life.  It is hard to imagine what kind of expectations I would have for his successor.  But, this seems neither good nor bad, and I can look at all the jokes, ignoring the ones that I find tasteless or ignorant.  Now, we can only imagine what the next Pope will be like in the wake of Pope Benedict's final Holy See you later.

Outside that, my thoughts have been on food.  My last ten months living independently of that obnoxious care home I lived in, one of my greatest celebrations has been food.  My liberation manifests in this excitement over being able to buy what food I want, eat what food I want, and sculpt a diet that for me is creative, nutritious, and cost-effective.

On Facebook, I've posted many pictures of the meals my caregivers have provided for me.  I've also posted pictures of foods that I've cooked for myself.  Right now every meal is a delight.  I have been learning how to control portions, control budget, manage my diet, and avoid spoilage.  Vegetables are the worst.  If I'm not going through my refrigerator on a regular basis, I can't rely on my caregivers to tell me when vegetables are feeling ignored.  In my recovery from codependence I try not to be concerned about that.  Unfortunately, if vegetables get ignored they do become unusable.

I believe starting today, that should be a non-issue, because I'm giving up meat for Lent.  Last Monday, my caregiver produced for me baked penne pasta in a rich meat sauce following my every specification.  She browns too much ground beef, and my only thought was, how am I going to use all this up before Wednesday.  I had her boil 2 cups of dried penne pasta, and layer it in the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish.  We covered it in a meaty red sauce and a couple handfuls of cheese.

After baking it for 30 min., I knew there was way too much there for me to consume by Tuesday night.  I ate some Monday night, sent it home with her to feed her family and still had too much for Tuesday.  But alas, it was after all Fat Tuesday, so I indulged.

I still have a freezer full of meat and awaiting me after Easter arrives.  In the meantime, I learn how to get creative – as I once did – with greens, vegetables, legumes, and grains.  That's all I have to report for now.

Thanks for reading.