The rituals of life.

OK so today is Good Friday.

I am not really a practicing Christian I was raised as fairly strict Lutheran and was confirmed as an adult in the church but have not really practiced for some time. My wife is catholic and the children are raised in the catholic faith and I believe that being raised in a faith, any faith is a good thing. But that is again a post for another day.

While not really practicing I still follow some of the rituals of my youth and one of these is no meat on Good Friday. Being of German descent the day always started with herrings in tomato sauce on toast. And this morning my day started with coffee and of course herrings in tomato sauce on toast.

The big ritual for me on Fridays has always been my Oma’s (German grandmother) lunch. This is a time for the family to get together and enjoy each other company and enjoy the food we have always had on this day.

The meal has always consisted of my grandmother vegetable soup with her semolina dumplings, my mother’s tuna and mustard sauce casserole, new potatoes and vegetables from my father garden and of course the good old German tasty but heart stoping salted herrings.

My Oma is 89 this year and shows no sign of slowing down. She cooked more food than 8 adults and couple of kids could possibly eat. Her herrings are soaked in milk, all spice, peppercorns, bay leaves, sliced onion, apple, pickled gherkins and just to make it that bit less health if that is possible some cream.

This is great over potato and soaked up with some nice healthy white bread.

So we eat, we have a good time we overdose on salt and marzipan and enjoy each other’s company. This is the rituals for us of Good Friday.

Many of my friends make it a mission to eat meat on this day and that is fair enough. As one put it I don’t fast in Ramadan so would I only eat fish when I am not a Christian? That is a fair point but sometimes rituals ground us and are as equally important as religion. When I lived in London I made it a mission to get fish for lunch on Good Friday.

We had huge wild Scottish salmon baked with lemons and whole peppercorns, baby potato and a huge green salad. Not bad and no one reached for a burger that day.

To me the food rituals are critical they remind on these days of family they are important and need to be valued and savoured. Even if i am going to have to go salt free for few days to get over it.

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