“Lanie, you have been so generous letting me and Nellie stay with you this winter. We would love to make everyone dinner Tuesday night.”
“That would be great, Samantha–help yourselves to the kitchen!”
Samantha and Nellie got together to plan. Nellie, being Irish, was well aware of the Lenten season beginning. “Samantha, let’s plan a Fat Tuesday meal!”
They headed to the kitchen looking for ingredients and dishes to use up before Lent.
“Grace must have been making macarons again… they’re everywhere!”
“Nellie, let’s see what we can find in the refrigerator,” Samantha said.
“Umm, French tarts, garlic bread, strawberry lemonade…”
“There are more tarts in a bakery box, too! Better add those to the pile!”
“It seems like most of the food in the house is rich and indulgent. Is there anything left in the refrigerator?” Nellie asked.
Samantha looked. “Well… some grapes… and a blueberry bran muffin. A leftover sandwich….”
“Well, my work here is done,” said Nellie proudly. “I can’t wait until everyone gets home!”
Samantha and Nellie carried the food to the dining room and waited. Nellie said, “Do you know some people call today Pancake Day? That always sounds funny to me.”
Samantha added, “And have you heard the word Carnivale? In Latin that means meat going away!”
Just then Grace and Lanie came in. The look on their face was a mixture of surprise and confusion.
“Happy Fat Tuesday!” Nellie and Samantha exclaimed. “We helped prepare your house for Lent by making a meal of all the rich and indulgent foods, and there were a lot of them!”
Lanie shot Grace a look which said, ‘I can’t believe they cleaned out the fridge!’ Grace quickly recovered from her speechlessness and said, diplomatically, “That was so kind of you to think of us. Let’s dig in!”
Have you ever had a guest stay with you who has different traditions than your own? Fat Tuesday and Lent seem to have lots of variations depending on geographic location and type of Christianity. At our house we have pancakes at church the night of Fat Tuesday and games and beads for the kids. And nothing goes with pancakes like some King Cake! I once hosted a recruiting event on a Friday during Lent and guess who had a bunch of chicken salad sandwiches on the menu. D’oh! Maybe I wrote this post to relive that faux pas.