This was the first Ash Wednesday in (I would estimate) about four decades that I didn’t get to Mass. I had planned on going. We’d work it around the little guy’s eating and nap schedule. He attends Mass every Sunday with his parents and, for an eleven month old, he is quite well behaved. I had no doubt we would be fine. What I didn’t count on was his breakfast time falling during the first Mass and his napping during the second. This is my new life and it is good, even if it is dictated by a tiny human being.
Today is a day of fasting which means just 3 meals with no snacks and breakfast and lunch should be small meals. I have found keeping the TV off helps when dealing with this. Who wants to see food commercials and let me tell ya, it seems like every commercial is for food when you can’t eat. Even disgusting foods like pea soup and liver seem appetizing.
Not that I can’t do with a little (okay, a lot of) fasting. For Fat Tuesday, I ate enough Jambalaya and King’s Bread to ensure I wouldn’t starve if I couldn’t eat again for a week. I’m convinced my hunger is more psychological than factual. When I am completely engrossed in some activity, I can even forget to eat. But psychological or real, yesterday’s King’s Cake is but a sweet memory.
Then there are the odd questions: If one is cooking pasta for dinner, can the pasta be tasted to see if it’s done without breaking the fast? If you squeeze some lime juice into a glass of seltzer and then drink a tiny piece of pulp, does that count as eating? When cooking a marinara sauce, is it okay to taste it to see if it needs more salt or basil?
Then there is the biggest dilemma of all: Is it better to stay up until midnight so you can eat something before going to bed or is the better plan to get to bed as early as possible so you don’t feel hungry?