Monday, April 28, 2014

Surviving the Lenten Season.

On Ash Wednesday, March 5th started the Lenten season, and ended on Easter, April 20th. This was a time of vegetarianism, a time of stifling temptation and persistent fight against the non-vegetarian demons trying to lure me into chicken biryani. The ‘demons’ are basically my family members, yes, thank you very much.

Lenten season had been a challenging one for me. My hubby does not believe in any season or day that stops him from eating non vegetarian food. My toddler is yet to come to terms with the fact that food can actually exist without meat in it. So I was basically caught between two hard core carnivores during Lenten season. Usually I have no problems surviving it, but this time it was different. Each day I had to listen to mini lectures about how faith is good but there is no hard and fast rule that you should avoid non vegetarian food during Lenten season. My mother called me and said that she skipped church and is going to a Muslim wedding instead because…Mutton Biryani, baby! Basically I dint have anyone including elders in the family for spiritual support during this time.

However there are some people who follow Lent and then act like they are being crucified as well. That they are following Lent is shouted from the rooftop and showcased as an act of spiritual publicity. We all have that friend who is desperate to show that she is religious by propagating faith through social media. Living the faith is different, so I completely despise the hypocrites who err more than any other, yet share religious quotes on facebook.  

Lenten Season does not give me liberty from household duties, so cook non vegetarian, I must. Otherwise the resident carnivores may be pissed and that is the last thing I ever want to happen. Basically they are not so demanding. One non vegetarian side dish and everyone sleeps happily. My only side dish for a month had been Al Marai yoghurt, and by consuming just that for over 40 days I am so bursting with calcium right now that I can almost hear it.  

Appam
After the long wait of what felt like ages, came Easter day. The day of resurrection and sanctity. And for us foodie Christians, it is also called the day celebrating the victory of meat over vegetables. Christians all over the world eat like crazy on that day. For us Mallus, the day begins with Appam and stew (mostly beef). And by noon we treat ourselves to such a feast that whatever was missed for the preceding forty plus days would be evened out. By evening, it becomes impossible for us to move. That’s when we clumsily laze around the couch and watch movies back to back. 
Ah the joy of Easter!
Beef stew.

For anyone who wonders what Lent season is, I will embark on giving you a small idea. 

Lenten Season is the period from Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, to Easter, calculated to be 46 days. Lenten Season is a period of preparation for Easter, along with remembrance of Palm Sunday, Last Supper and death of Christ on the cross. So Christians usually follow some spiritual discipline that includes fasting prayers and vegetarianism marking the Holiness of the period and to mirror Christ and how He resisted temptation, endured and defeated suffering. This is something that is instilled within us as children and Christians of different denominations have their own way of observing Lent.  

Like I told you, when we give up something we love most it has got to be food. And that is how vegetarianism continues to be the most common Lent practice. Some people even give up alcohol and smoking too, but you don’t see them in public ;-)

Easter was a blessed one for us, our families and friends as well. It was great on our tummies too!  And unlike the last 40 days, hens will continue to be pepper chicken and cows, beef ularthiyathu like they always have been. 

Image Courtesy:Google Images (for the first Lent poster)

18 comments:

  1. haha.. I love ur mom. Usually its the mothers who enforce this.. here, she's going for the mutton biryani.. wah wah! :D

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    1. Oh my Mom is so different ! She is the sporty one :D

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  2. I can only imagine now hard it might have been for you. Hell I tried to quit junk during 9 days of navratri pooja...and I failed on the second day :(
    and that appam!! Yum!!

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    1. Hahaha its more difficult to quit junk food ..!

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  3. Yeah... You must have had a tough time especially when others in the house are having non veg. But now I kinda like lent season. Every day it's a new veg dish, curry ..absolutely fresh n not stocked in the refrigerator :-P.
    At home, all non veg dishes are normally made such that it stays for 2 days. So you can have it fresh on the first day and the next day, the same dish re heated:-D

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    1. I know..! During Lent season I also explored a whole new set of veg recipes..!

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  4. I only observe a fast on Karwachauth. That is also because my in-laws told me to! On all other days I eat, drink and be merry! Just like your mom :)
    All the best for the next Lent :p

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    1. Haha Nisha I don't think there will be a next Lent!!

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  5. Lenten season or not, the writing was so good, Anu !! "The resident CARNIVORES" :) :) The very best of blogs in the recent past. Keep it up. Papa

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  6. All these years we've been diligently keeping the 50 days lent but this yr we slipped and did only half. Somehow I didnt feel so good about it;-(. Yeah I too made appam & mutton stew for breakfast[wht else;-P] for us and the neighbors too. They are always sending yummy koyi biriyani & I make for it at Easter and Christmas.
    Like u said we give up non-veg[as is common practice] which I feel is too less so I always try to do atleast 1 kind deed a day and encourage the kids to do also. which is also less really:-(.
    Very nice post Anitha:-)). Ur appam and stew look delish:-)))).

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    1. Wow a kind deed a day...that is an inspiration! I am going to try that next time !

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  7. I normally observe lent for only the first and last week of the 46 day period. ;) I know its kind of cheating but then its better than not taking lent at all, right? :D
    Yummy appam and stew..

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    1. Hahaha The passion week is a good time to observe Lent I believe. :-)
      Thanks for the comment!

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  8. Ahaa, reminds me of some sacred months that I have to observe and not eat non veg. I can still afford to ditch the century old customs but mom's frown and that guilt does not allow me to. Nice post :)

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    1. Ya the frowns and glances make us do a lot of things we dont want to, isnt it?
      :D Sigh !
      Thanks for the comment and follow!

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  9. And I learnt something new today, the Lenten Season. For me Easter means a very long weekend when we all head off to some remote island to chill.

    Btw, your Beef stew looks yummy. Would love it if you could share the recipe.

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    1. I will :-) Thanks for the comment, Purba !

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