Skip to comments.Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Posted on 02/23/2011 8:51:13 PM PST by Natural Law
One of the blessings of our US Catholic communities is the contributions of each of the many cultures represented in our parishes. As we prepare ourselves for our Lenten Observation it would be fantastic if we share the unique and special Lenten traditions and recipes of our communities and childhoods. Surely we can collectively do better than salmon loaf every Friday.
Never understood why a major fast food chain like McDonalds would not want to cash in and promote fish specials on Fridays during Lent.
These are people that would do anything to make a buck, celebrate any minor movie with a cheap plastic toy tie in, yet they ignore a major chance to market a product that many Christians are limited to eat on a certain day.
Me too. I was introduced to Tuna Pizza in Israel and it is fantastic. A Friday special home delivered would make a lot or Catholic kids happy.
Here is my recipe for Mexican Bean Pot — but it is for 50 — so change the size of the cans, etc. and adjust. Everyone loves this soup — and easy to make.
Cinco De Mayo Soup (Mexican Bean Pot )
2 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves (minced)
3 onion (chopped)
1 large can chicken or vegetarian broth
2 T green chiles (diced) (or use 2 cans of mild diced
2 can corn niblet (#10, drained) (or I use a huge package of frozen corn its actually better.)
2 cans diced tomatoes (15 oz each, drained) If you want more soupy texture — don’t drain.
1 can black beans (#10, drained and rinsed)
1 can garbanzo beans (#10, drained and rinsed)
I can red beans(#10, drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 tsp salt (adjust for taste
1/2 tsp pepper (adjust for taste
1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
Add one large container of salsa (biggest on the shelf)
In a large pot, saute garlic and onions in oil on low for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with fresh cilantro, tortilla chips, and sour cream.
It can have a bit of a kick to it, so keep some water handy. I also sprinkled a little bit of jack and colby cheese on top.
Variations: add leftover turkey, chicken, ground beef
Makes big pot for about 40-50
My daughter makes a similar recipe but adds some soy chorizo. I know its from the vegetarian section, but it really adds some substance to the soup.
Grilled cheese sandwiches and real malts. Because we usually gave up candy, those sweet malts meant a lot. Fridays in lent were quite popular.
People think that clam chowder is difficult — it really isn’t.
Make your basic potato soup to serve around 12+ — leaving out the bacon if you are making it for a Friday meal and omitting some water or draining off some water.
Add 1 large (quart size) can clams
Add i large (quart size) can clam juice
Simmer to mix flavors. I will usually add a quart of half and half too. Reheat over low heat and add salt and white pepper to taste.
How’s that sound?/
Another Lenten tradition that we don’t think of — take down any Gloria or Alleluia wall hangings or refrig magnets.
Put them back up on Easter Sunday.
With some real good sour dough bread it sounds decadent.
My families favorite is plank cooked salmon. I cook them on the BBQ on a cedar plank;
1) Soak the planks in water for at least a couple of hours because part of the cooking process is the steam that escapes.
2) Place the salmon fillets on the plank and rub with olive oil, course ground black pepper and kosher salt. Dust the tops with brown sugar and a lemon slice.
3) Place into a covered hot BBQ and cook until the meat separates easily... about 20 minutes. (some burning of the cedar is necessary to generate the smoke that adds to the flavor)
4) Serve hot and enjoy!
I did not notice if it’s called a special but in NY tv Mcdonald commercials would show fish sandwhiches during lent or in the store fish sandwiches ads. Someone is Catholic in that company.
Enlarge By Ernest Coleman, The Cincinnati Enquirer via GNS
Lou Groen invented the Filet-O-Fish sandwich and salvaged sales.
Hawaii is the top state in weekly Filet-O-Fish sales. Ohio is second.
About 23% of all Filet-O-Fish sandwiches are bought during Lent.
McDonald’s buys more than 61 million pounds of fish per year for the sandwich in the USA.
Lou Groen invented the Filet-O-Fish to attract Catholics, but it’s popular among Jews and Muslims whose dietary observances prohibit other McDonald’s fare.
In addition to Filet-O-Fish, these icons also were developed by McDonald’s franchise owner-operators, not by the central corporation: Big Mac (M.J. Delligatti, Pittsburgh, 1967) and Egg McMuffin (Herb Peterson, Santa Barbara, Calif., 1972).
Sources: McDonald’s, The (Cincinnati) Enquirer research
By Paul Clark, The Cincinnati Enquirer
CINCINNATI In 1962, Lou Groen was desperate to save his floundering hamburger restaurant, the first McDonald’s in the Cincinnati area.
His problem: His clientele was heavily Roman Catholic. In those days, most Catholics abstained from meat every Friday, as well as during Lent, the 40-day period of repentance that begins this week with Ash Wednesday.
His solution: He created the Filet-O-Fish a sandwich that saved his restaurant and eventually would be consumed at a rate of 300 million a year.
“Frisch’s (the local Big Boy chain) dominated the market, and they had a very good fish sandwich,” recalled Groen, now 89.
“I was struggling. The crew was my wife, myself and a man named George. I did repairs, swept floors, you name it.
“But that area (where his restaurant was located) was 87% Catholic. On Fridays we only took in about $75 a day,” said Groen, a Catholic himself. “All our customers were going to Frisch’s.
“So I invented my fish sandwich, developed a special batter, made the tartar sauce and took it to headquarters.”
That led to a wager between Groen and McDonald’s chief Ray Kroc, who had his own meatless idea.
“He called his sandwich the Hula Burger,” Groen said. “It was a cold bun and a slice of pineapple and that was it.
“Ray said to me, ‘Well, Lou, I’m going to put your fish sandwich on (a menu) for a Friday. But I’m going to put my special sandwich on, too. Whichever sells the most, that’s the one we’ll go with.’
“Friday came and the word came out. I won hands down. I sold 350 fish sandwiches that day. Ray never did tell me how his sandwich did.”
But the chain made Groen modify the fish recipe.
“I wanted halibut originally,” Groen said. “I was paying $2 a pound for halibut. That sandwich cost me 30 cents apiece to make. They told me it had to sell for 25 cents. I had to fall back on Atlantic cod, a whitefish, and I added a slice of cheese. But my halibut sandwich far outshines that one.”
Groen wasn’t complaining. “My fish sandwich was the first addition ever to McDonald’s original menu,” he said. “It saved my franchise.”
And fed it. By the time he sold his franchise in 1986, Groen owned 43 McDonald’s restaurants in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, about half the number in the region today.
But his prosperity didn’t include a slice of Filet-O-Fish’s national sales.
“Not a penny,” he said. “I made my money by selling the product and being the best operator I could.”
Charles Faulks, operations director for McDonald’s Ohio Region, called Groen’s contributions legendary. “Lou exemplified Ray Kroc’s philosophy that you can succeed if you believe in your brand, treat your people right and give back to your community.”
Groen entered the fast-food business in 1958. One day, while working in his father-in-law’s Cincinnati restaurant, Groen was leafing through Restaurant Management magazine when he spotted a couple of advertisements for franchise opportunities.
“They were tiny little ads,” he said. “One was for McDonald’s 15-cent hamburgers. The other was for Beverly Osborne Chicken Delight. I said to my wife, ‘If we do this, we’ll be eating a lot of these. Would you rather eat hamburgers or chicken?’
“She picked hamburgers.”
When Groen answered the ad, he was told that $950 would buy him exclusive McDonald’s franchise rights in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and parts of Pennsylvania. “But I didn’t have $950,” he said.
So he invested a couple of hundred dollars in a district franchise that included Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. He opened his first store in 1959.
So when was the last time he ate a Filet-O-Fish?
“It’s been a while,” he said. “I broke my leg last year, and at age 89 I don’t get out much. But I do love that sandwich.”
I'm pinging our Eastern brothers and sisters: Kolokotronis, kosta and Nyer for their preparation plans
Withdrawing from the culture for 40 days is what I like best. It’s so much more peaceful to live within each hour although I have to admit that the initial days without television or computer or radio are hard to do.
It’s a way to listen and focus on God.
Does anyone else on here experience a level of attack that becomes intensified during the Triduum? Holy Thursday is very difficult and it seems that every failing and every fault I “own” becomes magnified. It does seem to be an attack from the enemy because it ceases late on Good Friday as fast as it begins.
It is difficult for me to go through and prayer is the only way I can.
My late Bro-i-l was Greek Orthodox and the Orthodox Lent is very difficult for me. Good thing I’m Latin!
I keep thinking we should go back to having the strictness — let folks know it’s not just a diet but meant to be really giving up something.
For those of you who are interested in trying to fast through Great Lent as the Orthodox do, remember that none of us run a marathon without training. The Greeks say "sega, sega", slowly slowly. Start out just fasting from meat this year, or even just fasting from meat during the weekdays and regularly attend the devotions which are available to you during the weekdays. They are rich in grace and theology and will help you with your fasting. When you feel that your resolve is faltering, pray simply, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner". If you stumble at some point, it's OK. Just get up and try again. God doesn't need your fasting and it's no insult to Him if you fail. Fasting is for us and is among the greatest gifts The Church has given us.
The fast includes fasting from eggs, too? I think I remember that.
We have a place near us called “Dan Good Pizza”. They have a seafood pizza with salmon, shrimp and crab.
They run specials but it’s so good that it’s REALLY not a sacrifice!
You need to post Easter pictures from your parish this year. The thing I love the most about the Eastern European parishes is how beautiful they are for the holidays.
It helps so much to have a serious parish as well.
A week before Easter, we have Confession Monday. We get anywhere from 15 to 25 priest in to hear confessions for four hours.
AND it’s packed!
One of my Lenten favorites is 15 (or 16) bean soup. It’s not expensive to have meals for 15 people, approx. You need the package of beans, juice of one lemon, a whole onion cut up, salt and pepper to taste, and one can of stewed tomatoes. It takes several hours to cook, but it’s worth it.
Just outstanding, with either cornbread or homemade bread. Outside of Lent, it’s good with hamhocks, or diced ham, whatever. The bean package includes a packet of vegetarian ham flavor, if desired, but I like it better without the artificial flavoring.
I think I’m going to do what my Mom used to do. This weekend we make Perogi. All of us. It was a fun family time. She made enough for all of Lent. Being the youngest, I was the sealer. We sang, we laughed, it was a blast.
This is as close to as my Mom’s as I could find.
2½ cups of flour (could be as much as 3 cups)
1 tsp salt
2 tbs. sour cream (preferably regular)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
Mix all ingredients together, and knead just a bit. The dough should not be very smooth, and it should be quite sticky. Let stand covered with an inverted bowl for ~1/2 h before using. Take either all, or a portion of the dough, and roll it out until it is 1/16” thick. You will have to use plenty of flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and rolling surface. You can also flip the dough several times as well. (Your work surface dictates how much you can roll out at one time.) The thickness is very important.
Although not necessary, it is a good idea to make the fillings the day before you make the pierogi and refrigerate it. This is a big cooking job. Breaking it into two days helps.
Sauerkraut (Kapusta) Filling (makes 50-60 pierogi)
4 lbs sauerkraut
2 lb yellow onions
2 Tbs. sugar
My mother uses canned sauerkraut. Drain and wash the sauerkraut to reduce the sharp acid flavor You will have to wash and taste in stages to determine how sour you want it. Be careful not to overwash. You do want a bit of tartness. Finely chop the onions. Fry them in butter until they just become translucent, then add the sauerkraut and sugar. Either add more butter for frying, or add a combination of butter and olive oil. Fry to a golden brown color. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. Plenty of pepper is needed to give the kraut a little zing.
Potato Filling (makes 60-80 pierogi)
5 lbs of potatoes (red or Idaho are fine)
2 lbs of onions
Finely chop the onions and fry in butter until golden brown. Peel potatoes and cut them into thirds; cook until tender. Once cooked, completely drain potatoes and mash with no liquid. Add fried onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Since this is a fairly bland filling, you will find you need a fair amount of salt and pepper. (or Sour Cream. We add cheddar cheese to them as well)
We follow the United States guidelines for fasting and abstinence, even the babies, but our focus, food-wise, will be on the needs of our one son who has a real weight problem. We will exclude foods that he is prone to overeat and purchase those he should eat, even if nobody else likes it. This will, I believe, provide adequate penance for those who need it, along with a positive health outcome.
We have a Chaldean fruit shop near us.
They have a bakery in the back and bake breads on long wooden planks every day. It’s 5 large diamond shaped pieces for a dollar. Most times, it’s warm. If you’re lucky, it’s coming out of the oven and too hot to even touch. Customers grab their own with tongs and stuff them into paper bags.
On Fridays, we go in there, grab some Arab cheese, grapes and the bread. Yum-o.
There have been times that raw vegetables and vegetable side dishes are dinner. At many functions, I'm grateful for all of the vegetarians who have exerted an influence on our culture, because otherwise, there would be next to nothing edible after the appetizer course.
When we were growing up, my mother always served fish sticks for dinner.
The Wendy’s near us offers a fish sandwich during Lent.
I enjoy salmon so much. Thanks for the hint!
**Does anyone else on here experience a level of attack that becomes intensified during the Triduum? Holy Thursday is very difficult and it seems that every failing and every fault I own becomes magnified. It does seem to be an attack from the enemy because it ceases late on Good Friday as fast as it begins.**
Of course, didn’t you see the ramp-up at Christmas? The ramp up of negative coverage every time the Pope goes on a trip.
The media and some on FR hate Catholics. Along the way, they will learn to love us.
**They are rich in grace and theology and will help you with your fasting. When you feel that your resolve is faltering, pray simply, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”. **
A wonderful prayer, especially during Lent — but I use it all the time.
Going to the Stations of the Cross and other devotions during Lent — and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy from Good Friday through Mercy Sunday are so great.
Also Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during Lent seems to take on a different tone for me since I concentrate more on the sorrowful sufferings of Christ.
We are so blessed in these prayers and devotions.
To my way of thinking, a lobster stuffed with crab just isn't a sacrifice.
When I was growing up we usually had fish or cheese pizza.
Odd ...McDonald’s around here often run 2 for specials on fish sandwiches for lunch.
I’ve really been thinking about this Friday lent thing. I went to a Catholic school so Friday lent has been a longtime tradition in my life.
Our family LOVES fish, clams, shrimp etc. and I look forward in many cases to lent...fish season. It has seemed to me that many Catholics view Lenten Fridays as more a celebration than the penance.
Which, given the state of our country and world, I am wondering if my looking forward is actually counterproductive to the idea of the penance & Friday sacrifice of lent. I am thinking of actually returning to “The Fast & Prayer.”
You reminded me of crab cakes with your post about salmon loaf.
Oh, I love them, but have never made them.
On the salmon loaf I think I use the recipe from Better H and G cookbook.
The significance and symbolism found in the Jewish celebration of Passover is a very good opportunity for Catholics to reconnect with the Jewish Roots of Catholicism and to better understand the significance of the Last Supper. The Jewish tradition is that On the eve of the first day of Passover, Jewish families gather in their homes to celebrate a meal and prayer service called the Passover Seder. This year, Passover begins on Tuesday, April 19th. I highly recommend that all Catholics take the opportunity to bring part of the Seder Tradition into their Holy Week celebrations.
I finally found a place near us that sells salt cod. Salt cod mashed with potatoes and fried. Ummmm....
Unfortunately, it isn’t much of a penetential meal for us since we love it!
Mr. trisham’s Mushroom soup
1&1/2 celery stalks
1-2 cloves garlic
2-3 cups of wild mushrooms, portobello, button, any type of
mushrooms that you like
salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and chervil
dry sherry or cognac
chicken or vegetable stock, 3 to 5 cups
1. in a saute pan, sweat 1/2 chopped onion, 1& 1/2 stalk of sliced celery in about
two tablespoons of olive oil until translucent.
2. add 1-2 cloves of finely chopped garlic.
3. add 2-3 tablespoons of butter, and finely sliced mushrooms. Variety is good.
4. saute just until musrooms are soft, but not so long that they change in color.
5. make a roux in a separate, small saute pan. On a low heat, combine about 3 tablespoons of butter with about 3 tablespoons of flour, until flour is cooked.
slowly whisk in 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock. Chicken stock will add much more flavour, but vegetable stock is an option. Simply adjust the other herbs and spices to compensate if vegetable stock is used.
6. to the first pan (with the mushrooms), pour in 2-3 cups of chicken or
vegetable stock. Bring to medium high heat.
7. to the pan with the mushrooms, stir in the roux mixture about 1/3 at a time.
Bring this to a simmer.
8. add 1/2 pint of heavy cream.
9. add salt, black pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper to taste. Also add
chopped leaves from the celery or parseley and chervil for colour and taste.
10. optional: add a bit of dry sherry or cognac to taste.
Sounds delicious. Thanks!
There's nothing wrong with your memory! Just remember how good all that oatmeal will be for you all!
Unfortunately, it isnt much of a penetential meal for us since we love it!"
We fast not so much as a penetential practice, but rather as an exercise in self denial as part of the process of "dying to the self". By denying our stomachs, we can focus the "nous", the eye of the soul, less on ourselves and more on God so that eventually, one hopes, our entire being is centered solely on Him.
Under this plan, how could you get enough calories into an active child or a teenage marathon runner, without piling sugar into every dish?
I hear you. Unfortunately, my husband has diabetes, and he can’t eat much in the way of carbohydrates, so his diet is already quite limited. Pizza isn’t something that we can have very often, nor is pasta. Potatoes and bread are out as well. Sugar or honey? Verboten.
Just re-reading that old thread. A great one!
What a fantastic link. I've saved it to my favorites. Thank you.
I understand completely.
I hate fish sticks, by the way. My mother almost always cooked them until they were black on the bottom and stuck to the cookie sheet. The entire back side would remain with the pan when the top was pulled off.
I used to love McDonald's Filet-o-Fish sandwiches when I was a kid, but they are horrible now. McDonald's used to steam the bun and the sandwich was put in a styrofoam container (this helped the cheese really melt right), now the buns are toasted and they are in a paper wrapper. The taste completely changed.
I love tuna salad, but I eat it most Fridays for lunch. There are times that I will eat nothing rather than gag down another mouthful of it. Sometimes I skip breakfast, too. Is that a sacrifice? Not eating something that makes me nauseous? I don't know. :)
Imho, the interpretation of sacrifice may be bit complicated.