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Saturday, October 20, 2007

The soup of suffering...

Ah, Friday!

Have I mentioned that our family observes the traditional Friday Fast throughout the year? Abstaining from meat for one day a week has been more that just a practicality, though it has been easier to apply than the "substitution of other penitential practices" which doesn't always happen. The "meatless" day provides a day-long reminder of what we have gained through our Lord's sacrifice. Every meal requires thoughtful reflection and preparation. Peanut butter instead of ham. Tuna (not lobster!) instead of roast beef.

No meat on Friday. Simple. No. Meat. On. Friday.

There are so many creative and outstanding recipes to assist those who wish to abstain from meat on occasion. I've decided to skip "creative"; our Friday meals are always the same (cue dramatic music): The Soup Of Suffering.

What is The Soup Of Suffering? Well, for our family it is their very favorite soup. Mom's homemade Loaded Potato Soup. Without the "load". This particular soup is very popular with all my friends and family...dripping with cheese, sour cream, crispy crumbled bacon, green onions or chives--choose your topping--we have it! And fresh baked herb bread. Are you hungry yet?

Minus all the's just potato soup. Good. Filling. Boring.

When my son, Joseph, expressed (as only a grumpy, hungry child can!) just how much he missed the bacon with this soup, it was a very good time to talk about suffering and sacrifice--giving up bacon is really a small sacrifice, a very little suffering.

The Soup Of Suffering. One family's version of sacrifice.

Which brings us to last night's dinner.

So...what happens when mom (who remains on auto-pilot most of the day) puts crumbled bacon and cheese on your potato soup? Well, then, it's time for the "substitution of other penitential practices." The children come to the table and observe the lovely repast before them:

Zachary: "Is that bacon on the soup?"

Michael: "It's Friday!"

Joseph: "I can't eat that, Mom!"

Max: "It's Friday? Ah, man!"

Abi and Rylee: "Eeewww yuck! We hate potato soup! It's white!" (so is vanilla ice cream and sugar, but no aversion to those!)

"OK, guys...let's see...we'll pray the rosary and add a few extra up!"

Michael: "I can't do that, Mom. I'd rather not have the bacon."

Joseph: "I want to keep Friday holy."

These are exact quotes. So...bowls of unadorned soup were quickly substituted.

Now we know who the real teachers are...


Matilda said...

We too keep the Friday fast, but I have to admit that I have felt less that "fasting" because of all of the creative alternatives we have as options. (Salmon patties, bread and cheese, tuna melts, black bean nachos) Maybe I should reconsider how to make it more like a fast.

+JMJ+ said...

Kimberely, what are the options or suggestions for penance? I ahve to research that.

On Friday I had the Mother's Mass in our home...almost 60 people and most of them little ones stepping in their chocolate cupcakes. Do you think the clean up BEFORE and AFTER was penance?

Feeling guilty that I ate meat....

Anonymous said...

How is tuna (or salmon, for that matter), *not* meat? They come from dead animals, too.

Amy Caroline said...

We have been trying to start meatless Friday's too. And now I am hungry for potato soup and it isn't even 8am out here.

Amy Caroline said...

I became cusious as well and so decided to look it up. On Jimmy Aiken's website he has an artcile on it. You can find the whole of it here:

What it comes down to is that in the original laws, written in Latin, it said you shall not eat carnis on Fridays and other days of fasting. Translated that means any warm blooded land animal.

Amy Caroline said...

would you be willing to share your recipe for the soup??

Kimberly Wasson said...

Hi all!

My blog "fast" has equated a little negligence on my response to comments ;-D

Amy: Thanks for all your research and the links. I'd be delighted to share the recipe...I'm working on my blog menu bar over the next couple of days and will post under "recipes".

Anonymous: Thank you for your question regarding *what* constitutes meat.

Fasting (or, more aptly, abstinence), is not about is or isn't an animal - it is about sacrifice. There was a time when fish (shellfish, tuna, salmon, etc.) was considered a staple in the diet of the poor, making it a proper substitute for "carnis".

Nowadays, lobster is truly a luxury, and could never be viewed as a sacrifice. Yet under Church regulations on abstinence, it is still not "carnis", and therefore permissable. Orange Roughy costs about the same per lb. as T-bone steak.

The point: once a week we should all engage in a sacrificial or penitential action that calls to mind the suffering and death of our Lord, on the Cross.

Abstaining from meat is the best choice for some of us. For others, (say, vegetarians/vegans, for example) other penitential acts would serve better.

Remember: fast and abstinence is abrogated on major feast days which fall on Friday.