Today is Ash Wednesday. In the Christian world, it signals the beginning of the Lenten Season, a time of reflection and Abstinence. Like Advent, when Christians prepare for the coming of Christ, Lent is a time of preparation as well.
Ash Wednesday is a day of preparation for the Lenten Season itself. Once upon a time, this was a day of fasting and prayer. Fasting meant just that – a complete fast. Over time, the Church came to understand the dangers of a complete fast, the harm it could bring to the faithful. Today, the fast of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday means those obligated by Church Law (members 18 to 59 in relatively good health) are allowed one full meal, with two smaller meals that combined do not equal a second full meal. Part of the fast also means abstinence, as in no meat. Once upon a time, this included dairy, cheeses, any animal byproducts, and broths such as beef or chicken. Today, animal byproducts are fine, as are broths.
Once upon a time, Hubby and I would do a total fast for Ash Wednesday. Our feelings were that we didn’t eat breakfast anyway, so giving up lunch and dinner didn’t seem like much of a sacrifice. That’s not really a healthy approach, so these days we will have supper.
This year our Ash Wednesday’s supper is a small salad of tender greens, some hard-boiled eggs (for that protein), and a roll. Simple, humble while staying focused on the somber reason for the season. The weight of Christian faith is heaviest during Lent. It is an acceptance that the ultimate sacrifice was made for all of us, and not because we are deserving but because we are so loved.
Mixed Green Salad with Egg Wedges
4 Hard-Boiled Eggs
4 small Plum Tomatoes
5 oz Baby Greens
½ cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
Salad Dressing of choice
Cold eggs are best, so make the hard-boiled eggs the night before or in the morning. Peel eggs, keep refrigerated until ready to assemble the salad.
When ready to assemble, chill salad plates in the freezer for a few minutes.
Divide the baby greens among the chilled plates. Cut the eggs lengthwise into quarters, place one egg on top of each salad plate. Slice tomatoes into bite-size rounds, scatter one tomato over each salad plate.
Garnish with shredded cheese, season as desired with a little salt and pepper. Serve with a selection of dressing as desired.
Warm Artisan Dinner Rolls
1 dozen Dinner Rolls from the Bakers
1 stick Butter, soft
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Arrange desired number of rolls on the baking pan, brush tops lightly with butter. Cover pan with foil and warm the rolls in the heated oven for about 10 minutes.
Serve warm rolls with additional butter.