Have a meatless day!


Over at His Hermeneuticalness’s place we find a photo of eggs and toast.  “But Father! But Father!”, I thought.  “I also had an egg and toast today!”  Then, I continued needlessly, “Why?  I’ll tell you why.  Which it’s Friday, ain’t it!”

I channeled my inner Preserved Killick for a moment.

Fr. Finigan was reminding his readers that today, 16 September, is the first day in England and Wales for all Catholics to observe in a serious way their “meatless Fridays” during the whole of the year.

This is a good development and WDTPRS sends kudos to the Bishops of England and Wales.

So, I had a poached egg with whole wheat toast for breakfast.  It looks as if Fr. Finigan’s eggs were lightly fried. Perhaps a grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup for lunch. Or maybe some breakfast cereal and yogurt.  For supper? Perhaps I’ll break down and make some 炒粉 with vegetables. Or I could do that pasta sauce with tuna and hot pepper. Or I could thaw that pack of frozen sunny filets. Or I, since I have to use my basil before the freeze comes, I could make fresh pesto. Or I could fast. Or I could make mac and cheese. Or I could have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or, if I run errands today, I could get a small piece of salmon, or mussels, or shrimp.

Lot’s of possibilities, all good.

And it is all swell with Mystic Monk Coffee!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. RichR says:

    When asked how soon dinner will be served, my wife’s response is a P. Killick quote from the movie:

    “Which it will be ready when it is ready.”

  2. danphunter1 says:

    I hope the USA follows suit soon in mandating meatless Fridays
    to be one as I and the Father are One.

  3. RichR: Far better than Charlton Heston’s riposte in that movie about that ceiling.

  4. justamouse says:

    We’ve been going meatless on Wed and Fri, with much success. My kids love Friday pizza night. To them it’s a joyful way to learn how to abstain from meats.

  5. APX says:

    It’s meatless Friday/”some other suitable penance” day here in Canada, and since I don’t know what’s considered “some other suitable penance” I opt to abstain from meat on Fridays.

    While eggs and toast would have been delicious, my water heater went yesterday and needs to be replaced today, so my entire stove was/is occupied with heating pots of water. Instead I opted for cereal.

    Fortunately I still have tonnes of leftover apricot glazed salmon with vegetable fried rice in my freezer from last Friday.

  6. I had kefir and oatmeal, which is some kind of cosmic Russo-Scottish crossover and which would probably elicit very rude comments from St. Jerome. (IIRC, he ripped on the British Mr. Pelagius of Pelagianism for having his brains full of oatmeal.) For lunch, I am torn between PB&J and a plum, and fishsticks and cheese and a plum. Or eggs. Eggs sound good too. Or even French toast.

  7. And for those who fast more vigorously, don’t forget almond milk, the traditional staple of Friday food in medieval Europe. The kind in the grocery store isn’t quite the same as the medieval kind, but it’s more convenient than pounding nuts yourself and a great base for all kinds of meatless soups and dishes (and dairyless ones, in fact).

  8. (I don’t fast more vigorously. I just like to eat and know what I’m eating, and used to do SCA medieval stuff.)

  9. Chatto says:

    A happy meatless Friday to you all! Sadly, one diocese in England & Wales is abstaining from abstaining and the new translation until October. Hint: it’s the one with the cathedral that looks like a flying saucer (“which it will take off when it takes off”), where the Ordinary had given the go-ahead for Methodist ‘ordinations’ about a month ago, until the CDF stepped in.

  10. kat says:

    Don’t forget about my own personal favorite: McDonald’s filet-o-fish!! Which is what my son and I will have on our way up north to the cottage this evening! (A rare treat since usually there are 6 kids and a husband to pay for as well, and that gets quite costly at McD’s; but my husband is already up there, and the other 5 are not joining us for this quick trip!!)

    Our other Friday fares:

    My kids’ favorite is their father’s baked mac and cheese.
    Then there are: tuna casserole; bean and cheese enchiladas; creamed peas and tuna on toast or rice; boxed mac and cheese (gotta be Kraft, though); homemade fish filet sandwiches; macaroni salad; meatless spaghetti; and finally, if my husband doesn’t mind TOO much, pancakes, waffles, or French toast!

  11. pelerin says:

    danphunter says that he hopes the US will follow suit. I hope that ALL countries will follow suit. After all we are part of the universal Church.

    I thought that ALL the English bishops had agreed on today and am somewhat surprised to learn that one diocese here is abstaining from abstaining until later. Easy to guess which one it is by the description given by Chatto above. Why can’t the bishops have been unanimous about this?

  12. irishgirl says:

    I have several choices to make for my meatless Friday dinner [supper]:
    Rice with broccoli and cheese, pasta with tomato sauce OR margarine and veggies, or egg and olive omelet.
    If I get some money at the bank before going home, I might buy some shrimp to put on the pasta and veggies.

  13. We always used to like macaroni and cheese with a can of tuna stirred in. Or salmon rice loaf, if you get really ambitious in a 1950’s way. (The recipes on the Internet don’t seem much like my mom’s, though they also sound good.)

    You know what else I bet would be good? Spaghetti carbonara, with the eggs and cheese but no bacon, and with nuts or something else stirred into replace the bacon protein. (Probably not tuna, if the oil would collapse the creaminess of the noodlewater/egg thing.)

  14. benedetta says:

    pb & j. Alternatively, nutella. Regrets to those with the nut allergies…

  15. jaykay says:

    Even though I’m in Ireland, inspired by the English & Welsh example I decided I’d start to take this seriously, although I had been observing the Friday fast on and off for a few years anyway. I actually love fish dearly, so in order to make it a proper fast I had veg. soup and a salad at lunch (brekkie was fruit, as always). This evening I won’t have much time so it’ll just be some good bread sliced thinly, daubed over with basil-infused olive oil and toasted under the grill, then spread lightly with good butter. Quick ‘n’ cheap… and surprisingly filling.

  16. Liz says:

    We sometimes get into a meatless Friday rut where I can’t think of many ideas for meals for the family. (You know vegetable pizza, tomato soup, potato soup, waffles, meatless lasagna etc.) So, I put up a plea from friends on FB two weeks ago and they had some pretty good suggestions: creamed cod fish, fish tacos, broccoli cheddar quiche (I forgot that I like broccoli cheddar soup too!), eggplant parmigiana, veggie paninis, egg noodles with some sort of sauce. My one friend pointed out that it was the perfect time for the eggplant parmigiana because of the garden. We had it and it was delicious and only two children nearly cried. (We pretty much do the two choices: take it or leave it.) Honestly, I pointed out to my 11-year old that it was great that he didn’t like it since Fridays are about penance anyway. He struggled through it and got something good for dessert.

  17. benedetta says:

    For supper, insalata lessa is an idea. I like the recipe from Fagioli by J. Barrett. Tuna, cannelini beans, minced onion, olive oil, s & p to taste. But there are many variations on the theme.

  18. Giambattista says:

    On September 1 I committed to a vegan diet (no meat/fish/dairy products) for at least 60 days. The main motivation is to drop some weight, although there are certainly spiritual aspects to doing this as well. I’m 16 days in and while the first week was kind of a shock to the system, it’s going very well.

    The main point that I want to make is that there are a LOT of things available to eat on a meatless day without even considering fish or dairy products (anything animal derived). Beans, lentils, potatoes, rice, fruit, pasta, tofu, leafy greans, whole grain cereal (shredded wheat) using unsweetened soy milk and much more that is not coming to mind at the moment. There are a lot of creative possibilities. It’s actually kind of fun, but I suppose that is probably not the correct attitude for a penitential day :)

  19. Supertradmum says:

    Ate herrings in mustard sauce, plain spag with garlic, crushed pepper and virgin olive oil and Paddy and Scott’s coffee and that was it for the entire day–a real fast and abstinence.

    By the way, for moms and dads in Friday ruts, my mother used to make cheese souffle and various types of waffles on Fridays….all yummy alternatives. Also, pea soup without the ham, gazpacho soup and garlic bread, and spinach salad with boiled eggs with honey mustard dressing are all favorites of mine.

    How to Prepare Cheese Souffle
    100 gButter
    50 gCheddar Cheese; grated
    1 tsPowdered mustard optional
    6 Egg whites
    25 gUnsalted butter
    4 Egg yolks
    50 gCornflour
    600 mlmilk
    50 gGrated Parmesa
    Preheat the oven to Gas5/375degF/190degC. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the cornflour and cook through. Slowly add the milk to form a thick sauce. Stir in the Cheddar cheese, Parmesan and powdered mustard. Stirring continuously allow the sauce to become a smooth consistency. Grease a 2 pint souffle dish with the butter. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and can form soft peaks. Add the egg yolks to the cheese sauce, season generously and mix well. Very carefully fold the egg whites into the sauce and then pour into the buttered souffle dish. Cook for 35-40 minutes until souffle is risen and golden

  20. Supertradmum says:

    May I add a great French Toast recipe? We always used cinnamon.Ingredients:

    1 egg
    2 egg whites
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    dash nutmeg
    8 slices French bread, sliced on diagonal

    In a shallow bowl, whisk egg and egg white until foamy. Whisk in milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
    Have warming drawer heated or heat oven to 200°.
    Heat butter in heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Dip 4 slices of bread in the egg mixture, turning to coat thoroughly. Let excess drip back into bowl.

    Place coated bread slices in hot skillet. Cook, turning, until both sides are nicely browned, about 2 minutes each side.

    Transfer to a warm plate and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining bread and egg mixture. To serve, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired. Serve with maple syrup, if you are from the North and corn syrup if you are south of St. Louis.

  21. MJ says:

    I go meatless on Fridays. Dinner favorites are tuna casserole, or some baked fish (flounder is yummy) with lemon juice, butter, and some seasonings on top. Mmm. Hungry!

  22. danphunter1 says:

    What if you like non meat dishes a lot better than meat?
    Is it still penitential?
    Sorry I was too wordy before.

    [Since the Church’s law permits us to substitute penances, perhaps some commonsense could be applied to the puzzle.]

  23. danphunter1 says:

    Thank you Father.
    I am sorry I did not express that I was referring to living in a diocese where no meat on Friday was mandatory.
    I believe here is the answer to the puzzle as told me by a Catholic aquaintence:
    The spirit of the law is to keep fridays as days of penance in rememberance of our Lord’s sacrifice. Therefore, abstaining from meat is a longstanding tradition that signifies it because meat was seldom eaten in ancient times due to being an expensive food.

    If you really enjoy eating fish to the point where it would represent no penance at all, then my suggestion is that you should follow the spirit of the law rather than the letter: make an extra sacrifice and eat something less enjoyable or just simply fast. That’s the spiritual purpose of this discipline. Eating meat or fish in and of itself is indifferent

  24. Southern Baron says:

    I didn’t pack lunch today and a place down the street specializes in all kinds of strombolis. I thought “Friday” and ordered the one with spinach, tomatoes, breaded eggplant, ricotta, and garlic sauce. Healthier than the ones with five kinds of Italian meats, too!

  25. heway says:

    My husband and I are eating very little meat -for health reasons. Had perch, talpia and tuna already this week. Today just cereal, bran muffins, applesauce. This evening we will attend the county historical society which is being held at the Senoir center. The dinner will be chili rellenos. The stuffing unknown, but since it is a fundraiser for the center, we will be eating it!
    My grandmother from County Clare never ate meat on Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays – for the grace of a happy death. I love all kinds of seafood and it is hard to call it penance.

  26. Anne C. says:

    Giambattista – I wish I had your discipline! And thanks for the reminder of all of the choices there are. I’ve been “trying” to eat vegan for several years now, and when I stick to it, I really do lose weight, but the main advantage is the energy it gives me! Also, the reason I decided to do it in the first place – my health is greatly improved!

    I also went without meat on most Fridays – long before “going vegan” – almost since the time that they told us that it would be permissible to substitute some other penance . . . Funny how it goes when someone in power gives that kind of an “order ” . . . I am torn when I try to think of a substitute penance – everything else I think of, I’m afraid I won’t do, because it seems too hard! Going meatless is just simpler!

    But also, as danphunter1 says, it really isn’t a penance when it’s something you do every day, so here I am, back at thinking up penances . . .

  27. AnAmericanMother says:

    Usually abstain on Fridays, but today some very old friends asked me out to a 50-year-old dive of a hot dog shack where there is NOTHING on the menu but hot dogs! and I didn’t want to be discourteous either by demanding we go someplace else or sit there looking supercilious while they ate chili dawgs.

    For the record, it’s Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs in Kennesaw, GA. If you like your chili spicy enough to take the skin off your tongue and put hair on your chest, this is the place.

    So, an extra Rosary plus egg on toast for brekky and French Toast for supper. We do the best we can.

  28. Genna says:

    Friday faves: pasta with a little butter, parmesan, black pepper and chopped parsley (0 cream on Friday); cauliflower cheese with hot English mustard powder folded into the cheese sauce; Welsh rarebit. Yummy.
    Today I had a boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast, cheese and biscuits, no butter, and an apple for lunch, then cheese and biscuits again in the evening as I hadn’t used up a lot of energy during the day to merit a full meal. I like cheese and biscuits.
    A real penance would be poached eggs. For some reason they make me go green about the gills.

  29. amsjj1002 says:

    I wish the U.S. would follow the U.K. example’s here!

  30. Sword40 says:

    We’ve done “meatless Friday” for years, but with all this talk about food, how can I continue my fasting? Everybody is making this rather tough.

  31. Nan says:

    I had a bagel for breakfast and veggie pizza for lunch. I think it’s scrambled eggs for supper.

    @dph1, I’m not a big meat eater either so tend to avoid my favorite non-meat items on Friday; I try to find something that’s meatless and penitential.

  32. AnAmericanMother says:

    supertradmum and all,
    Here’s our French toast recipe:
    4 eggs
    2/3 cup milk or cream
    2 tbs maple syrup
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/8 tsp salt
    thick sliced bread, “Texas toast” or a fine crumb homemade, 6 slices.
    Whisk eggs on a shallow bowl, add milk then other ingredients. Smush each slice of bread with a spatula so it soaks up the egg mixture. Fry in a little butter until you have a nice lacey brown pattern on each side. Serve with cinnamon sugar and maple syrup.
    I am as Deep South as they come, and I know some folks use cane or sorghum, but corn syrup???? wow!

  33. Dr. Eric says:

    I have been abstaining from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays since 2010. I also abstain from eggs and fish on those days as well, especially since any thing that has a fishy taste makes me gag. This year for Lent I even dropped dairy on those days and I think I’ll do the same for Phillip’s Fast (40 Days before Christmas.) One day I hope to be disciplined enough to perform the Lenten &/or Phillip’s Fast in accord with the Byzantine practice. Next year I think I’ll plan to do the Apostles’ Fast as strict as our brethren in the East do.

  34. Mitchell NY says:

    Father, any or rumour if the US Bishops are even considering this? Unfortunately only blog readers might now there has been a change in England and Wales ( I doubt it is in the parish bulletin) and most US Catholics think that meatless Fridays were abolished AND that is it. They don’t realize the discipline is still there, albeit with of your own choosing, other forms of Friday Sacrifice. I am quite sure the only way the unity and identity can be brought back is by bringing it to the forefront of the mind again, such as the US and other countries following the lead of England and Wales. And the only way to do that is with a new (old) way being instituted again, not a reminder about what already exists. That has been a failure. Human nature notices change and do not pay attention to what they already do or should know.

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