Today is the second Friday of Lent. The Lenten Season is a time for reflection, to take stock in ourselves and be honest about a few short-comings.
When I was younger, Lent meant making a list of “sacrifices” as part of our religious home-work. There were the usual child-driven penances such as giving up candy or Saturday Morning Cartoons or maybe after school treats. As we got older, our Parish Priest talked about other “sacrifices” such as donating what we would have spent on the candy bar or can of soda to a second collection on Sundays for the poor. I really liked that idea.
Some of the best ideas came from Father Kevin. He spoke to the entire parish about making Lent a time not for penance but for true change. Give up anger. Give up fear. Give up selfishness. Give of ourselves to one another.
Another great idea for those with children are acts of kindness. A friend of mine had nine children that she home-schooled. For Lent, each child was given a bagel with 40 toothpicks. This represented the crown of thorns. Each time a child did something kind for someone else, they got to remove a toothpick from their bagel. It gave them a physical reminder of the season and a way to see their progress on the road of kindness.
I love this time of year, when the cold of winter begins to fade and bring with it a renewal of spirit. Wouldn’t it be great if we could carry those acts of kindness with us always? Wouldn’t it be great to embrace forgiveness forever? Just a thought . . .
Pan Seared Scallops With Sesame Sauce
16 large Sea Scallops
1 Green Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
3 teaspoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon Canola Oil
Black Pepper to taste
Remove scallops from the refrigerator, and bring them to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
Slice green onion, separating the white and green sections. Set aside. Peel and mince the garlic, set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, add the white onion pieces with the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil and pepper flakes. Stir with a whisk to combine, and set aside.
Warm the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the scallops; sprinkle scallops with the black pepper as they sear. Cook scallops about 3 minutes on 1 side until golden brown. Using tongs, flip the scallops and cook 2-3 more minutes or until browned. Transfer scallops to a plate, and cover with foil. Keep the skillet on the heat.
Whisk the sauce again, and add it to the hot pan. Cook until the sauce boils and thickens slightly (about 45 seconds); then remove the pan from heat. Divide scallops among 4 plates, drizzle some of the hot sesame sauce over each portion, and garnish with a sprinkle of green onion pieces.