Greetings.   By now we are half way through our Lenten Journey. The question of what to eat, or what to cook becomes a challenge if people want to abstain from meat, oil, and dairy.    The choice to do so is entirely personal. Oftentimes people get caught up in the food rules and forget that fasting is one part of Great Lent. The other parts of Lent are prayer and good works and of course how we treat others.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,  so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

I include that passage because I always stumble during Lent.

I continue to be pleasantly surprised by the creative Lenten dishes people put together. Our Community Cookbook has so many tasty recipes that are tried and true. Most of the ingredients are things we have in our kitchens. Substitutions and variations work when you’re out of an ingredient or two. For example, if you’re out of vinegar for salad or vegetables, lemon juice is an excellent substitute. If you want to use up that bag of mixed baby kales before it expires use it as you would to make spinach and rice, (spanakorizo). The shrimp pilafs we love so much can include other seafood like mussels and oysters.

The Community Cook Book has been given a great deal of tender loving care and our experts have edited errors to create and even better book. I am fortunate to be on this team that exhibits love of faith, family, friends, and of course, food. Kali Anastasi to everyone.