Each year DPaul and I give up something for lent. It’s not that we’re the least bit Catholic, but we have found it to be a nice study in self-discipline, which has never really been our strong suit. Every year we give up something different, driven by factors in our lives. One year we gave up beer, back at a time when we were pretty big beer drinkers. In 40 days we lost several pounds, and it forever changed our relationship with that beverage. We still enjoy it, but now much more sparingly, such as on the three or four really hot days we get here in San Francisco.
This year, we gave up bread and potatoes. This was really DPaul’s idea, as he had a little burger-and-fries monkey to get off his back. Within the first few days, though, we began to redraw the boundaries just a little bit, qualifying "bread" with the word "leavened." So tortillas were fair game, and they quickly became our new staple. Pita, matzoh and other flatbreads were also not verboten, but still didn’t creep much into our diet save for my occasional bag of Stacy’s pita chips.
This fast was no real hardship for me. I don’t have the deep craving for potatoes that my other half does, and though I love bread as much as anyone, I have the mettle to refuse it. The only real change was that, since lunch options in my neighborhood are generally limited to sandwich or salad, I ate a lot more salads.
But what I did miss, actively, was pizza. For us to go a week without it is unusual; to go 40 days is unheard of. Many nights, as we came home exhausted and numb from busy days, we were tempted to break our fast for the sake of convenience and comfort, but held true. Even when we ordered Indian in its stead, we eschewed the naan to keep in the spirit, even though we technically could have gotten away with it, as it is unleavened.
So this Easter, in lieu of a traditional ham, it’s all about pizza. Delivery, thank you very much.
(To be perfectly honest, we did break our fast last night. We were having a pre-Easter dinner at Cam & Anita’s place, and Anita was checking in on our lenten restrictions. I told her that we had decided that by the time we arrived for dinner at their house, it would already be Easter in the Vatican, so we were free and clear. Jesus would have eaten that potato gratin, too … though probably not the ham, delicious though it was.)