The website for the church to which I belong points out that Lent lasts for 40 days "like the flood of Genesis, Moses’ sojourn at Mount Sinai, Elijah’s journey to Mount Horeb, Jonah’s call to Nineveh to repent and Jesus’ time of testing in the wilderness." If you want to read more from that website, go here.
On Saturday, my husband saw a small poster for a local Byzantine Orthodox church that was having its Mardi Gras festival. The features: Slavic foods, Mardi Gras beads, and a polka band. Did I want to go?
Sure, why not? Let's go.
When we walked in to this totally unfamiliar environment, we first were practically bowled over by sound--loud raucous polka music.
We asked for some of the ground rules--how to get food? where to sit? We learned we had to buy tickets--then order our food and pay with tickets. OK. Next was figuring out what the food items were. Kielbasa--that's easy. And perohis (aka perogies). Check. But halupki? And halushki?
So for ease, I said--just go ahead and order one of each. R-i-g-h-t! You can see the perohis, the halupkis and the halushki above. Mostly pale white food. Most carbohydrates. Mostly not much taste. I mean--if you like (make that love) cabbage, potatoes and flour--you are all set.
But it was fun. Something a bit different. Neither my husband nor I has any Slavic blood in our family pedigrees, so while these were unfamiliar dishes, we managed.
But isn't it interesting--preparing for Lent by over-indulging in some of the worst imaginable foods for your health's sake? Of course, Mardi Gras, aka Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday, aka Fasnacht Day--all these day names refer to this coming Tuesday, the last day before Lent--the featured foods call for over-indulgence in carbohydrates, sugars and fats. Fasnachts--really donuts made from potato dough--what could be more. . .filling. Getting ready for Lent--for 40 days of denial.
I don't typically "give up" anything for Lent. Oh, I know--I'll give up halupki and halushki. Maybe even perohis.
Photos from Web.
Food photo guide: photo 1-- halushki; photo 2--perohis; photo 3--halupki.