Friday, March 7, 2008

Clean Week

This Sunday marks the beginning of Lent for Orthodox Christians, though we have had weeks of preparation leading up to this week. Clean week means as strict a fast as you are able, many will not eat until evening, and those who do often try to eat only non-cooked foods (nuts, raw vegetables, fruits). Meat, dairy, wine and oil are abstained from for the next six weeks (with a few exceptions for feast days etc). Obviously each family must determine what they are able to do, and young children are not expected to keep a strict fast. This year in preparation, I have planned a weekly menu and grocery list for Lent, and am hoping it will ease the question of what to cook over the next few weeks.

Here are my planned weekly meals:
Sunday - tomato or potato soup
Monday - taco soup
Tuesday - bean chimichangas and Spanish rice
Wednesday - white bean and kale soup
Thursday - shrimp, wild rice and canned vegetables
Friday - tortilla soup or red beans and rice
Saturday - shrimp spring rolls and fried rice
I am also planning to try a few new recipes from the When We Fast blog (see side bar) and will incorporate those in occasionally.

This year we are also starting a new tradition - cleaning for clean week! We will be doing only minimal school (math and Latin), and devoting the week to spring cleaning, and church of course, as there is a service every night next week. I am oddly excited, knowing it is always a challenge, but looking forward to this period of preparation to celebrate the Feast of Feasts, Pascha.

"Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood, perjury. Privation of these is true fasting."
St. Basil the Great

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