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Sunday, March 14, 2021

Menu Plan: Laetare Sunday

Laetare is milk-joy Sunday. It is the Mother's Day of the Church, remembering the Church as our Mother and the Blessed Mother herself. This week has a couple fish days in it for us, and is a little bright spot in the work and discipline of Lent. One of Rich's favorite saints, and one of our family patrons, is celebrated this week. The feast of Saint Joseph is Friday, and we are excited. Next week, we will have the feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (and Elijah's birthday), and with the Paschal feast, we will have the whole Holy Family, which is of special devotion in our home. This week marks the fourth Sunday, fifth week, of Lent in the West, but the beginning of Lent for the East. It is years like this, when the distance is so far between us that I think I grieve the most over the disunity in the Church. Christ is not divided, though, and neither is the Church triumphant. Since both East and West are a little off on their calculation of the date of the Paschal feast, I think that we should all join together, get that settled and let the bunny and egg people just celebrate that on the old western date, and then the Church can celebrate on the more accurately calculated date and get marked down chocolate. Who is with me?

Jerome is really being a trooper about his diet. Nejat got to join him in a limited diet this week, as she had to have a soft foods diet all week from trying to bash out one of her teeth by performing acrobatics off the toilet. (Big sigh). At lunch, they sit together in the limited diet section of our dining table (which I didn't realize we had). I have to admit that not being able to use bread, pasta, corn, or rice as we normally do (or oats or rye or spelt or barley or any other grains) has been a pretty big challenge for me, especially during Lent. We have worked around it, and I am trying to make meals that we all can eat for our shared meals, at least, with few modifications for Jerome (and now Nejat), rather than multiple meals. In the end, that is still easier than making two or three meals, but the mind space it takes is a little tiring. Especially since he also cannot have any added sugars, including honey, molasses, or maple syrup (or most of them, really), no dried fruit, no pineapple, banana, grape, mango, kiwi, no juice, no balsamic, rice wine, or apple cider vinegar, and only three servings of root vegetables or sweet winter squash each week. You might notice that each week, I only include three meals that include carrots or potatoes or squash. Even that is something I have to check and count. My Lenten discipline, much like his, was not exactly chosen by me. That is alright, as we don't focus as much on what we are individually giving up, but rather what the Church in Her wisdom offers us as discipline for our growth, which we do corporately with Her. However, sometimes God adds a little more, and this is one of those years. Jerome has been teaching me about cheerfully accepting it. He has been so grateful, and so good about whatever his limits are. When the answer has been no (like could he use date sugar, since it is just ground up dates), he has simply accepted it and gone on with what he needs to do. That is pretty good for a 14 year old.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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