Lion or Lamb? And does it really matter? Every time we find ourselves relying upon some old proverb to predict our weather, we’re more often than not disappointed. Weather folklore stems most often from ancestral beliefs in staying in balance. In the case of March, if it’s gentle at the beginning of the month than without a doubt it will be fierce at the end. Before the days of meteorologists, people actually believed that “bad spirits” could change the weather adversely.
I prefer to believe in things that I know have some basis in fact. For instance, March 2nd, Wednesday of this week is the beginning of the season of Lent. As a boy attending catechism classes, we were taught that Lent was the season of denial. We were encouraged to give up something that we really enjoyed for the 7 weeks of Lent to show our devotion and reverence. Watermelon wasn’t considered a suitable sacrifice particularly since it was out of season, anyway! Pop and candy were common “give-ups” among my classmates. One year, in a poorly thought out burst of piety, I decided to give up bread, crackers, anything basically that was chewy or crunchy!
I didn’t realize how much of my diet consisted of sandwiches, but I was soon to find out. It was perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever denied myself. So much so that I waited up until midnight the night before Easter to eat my first meal between two slices of bread in over 40 days! I made the thing so thick that I nearly dislocated my jaw trying to get my mouth around the first bite.
Now, as a senior citizen, I try to do something “extra” rather than do without. Food still enters into the picture as we don’t eat meat on Friday’s. I make a particular fish-dish that my family loves. In fact, we make it just about every month throughout the year and not just during Lent.
I take a 9×11 baking dish, spraying the bottom with non-stick spray. Then I spread a box of brown rice on top of that. Next goes two or three of the thick filets of Icelandic Haddock, pre-thawed. I spread a can (or a bag of fresh) spinach over top of the fish and then cover that with a can of diced, seasoned tomatoes. Sometimes I add fresh mushrooms and once I even added a bag of fresh scallops which only enhanced the dish. On top of everything I cover it with shredded mozzarella and bake at 400°F for about 45 minutes. The juice from the fish, spinach and tomatoes is often enough to cook the rice, but if you find it too dry for your liking, you can always pour a little vegetable broth around the edges before baking.