Leaning Towards Lent

Alright, alright, I’m swearing off blaming for Lent.

See, that was easy.

Well, what to do to replace that gap in my brain??

Oh yeah.  Rather than pointing fingers, a person is supposed to be “solution oriented.” A good person, that is. Oh. Kay. I like a puzzle. Satisfaction in solving.

Also, while we’re at it, this exercise in self-discipline and evolution, let’s increase the levels of ethical and creative expression around this joint, and ramp up the emotional self-sufficiency.

Lord, and I do mean Lord with a capital L, seeing as this is a post about Lent with a capital L, I am starved from all the naval gazing. Got quite a crick in my neck, too. Should have never lent my head down that low for that long. Particularly since we did not even loosen up with the debauchery of Mardi Gras this year. The blizzard of 2010 blew away all sense of time. Whomp, we got bombarded, and when we came to Mardi Gras had come and gone.

If you are lucky enough to be a Lenten observer and to be living in or near Pittsburgh, you can turn to your Pittsburgh Catholic’s Fish Fry Guide, a newspaper supplement that lists five pages of fish fries.

Here in northern Virginia we do not have the culture of fish fries, and I miss that from my days in Wisconsin. Equal parts fried fish, French fries and tartar sauce. Honestly, Lent need not even figure in. Or Catholicism, or even God. We bypassed all that and went straight for the crispy fried stuff that burst steam when stabbed, any Friday, all year round.

They all have fish — sandwiches or “in a dish,” mostly fried but some baked. St. Jon Vianney parish, in the neighborhood known as Hilltop near Mt. Oliver, also has shrimp, crab cakes, even pecan-encrusted tilapia. St. Therese of Lisieux in Munhall offers fish stuffed with crab meat. St. Mary’s in Cecil has a menu touting cod hand-
breaded in panko and wild-caught scallops seared in butter and olive oil — plus beer!

Read all about it here:

Smell the hot oil? Fish fry season is here.


Photo by Heather Mull, who writes,
Spring in Pittsburgh means the return of the ubiquitous Lenten fish fry. The Original Oyster House in Market Square, which will celebrate its 140th anniversary in October 2010, serves an average of 300 pounds of battered cod each Friday during Lent, and twice as much on Ash Wednesday. Mary Colbert, of Brentwood, has been kitchen manager at the Oyster House for 30 years. “It’s a madhouse,” says Colbert. “There are lines out the door and onto the sidewalk and people are jammed inside just waiting for take-out. We get here at 4 a.m. on Ash Wednesday and stay until 10 that night, and the other Fridays we here from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.”
able Magazine, large and printed on nice-to-thumb heavy paper, is a real beauty coming out of Western Pennsylvania, a gift to me from the Sublime Miss M, who is a regular contributor.

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3 responses to “Leaning Towards Lent

  1. Lisa, sometimes it’s easier for me to keep up with Pittsburgh food goings-on by reading your blog than by any other method–even though I only live 60 miles south of PGH. Thanks for the fish-fry link…I’m determined to get to one of those this year, come hell or high snowbanks.

  2. I admire your spirit. Wish I could join you.
    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. That town knows how to eat! We were just there six months ago but I want to go back.

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