Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Skillet Potatoes and My Ash Wednesday

It's Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Even though I am not Catholic, I always observe Lent. Because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for me, I feel I must respond and acknowledge this with a sacrifice of my own.

"Yet even now," said the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments." Turn to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.   --Joel 2: 12-13

Last year I gave up bread. I thought it was going to be challenging, but I was wrong. Every once in a while my craving for a sandwich, homemade biscuits or Subway's BLT on flatbread would hit. When these moments came, I turned to God's Word. I found strength in His promises. He said we shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (Luke 4:4). For me, this was actually literal last year. I was able to understand my craving, turn to Scripture, understand why I was making this sacrifice and meditate on it.

As I've mentioned before, when I sacrifice or fast as a Christian, I draw closer to the Lord when doing so. If not, I guess I feel I'm not truly sacrificing in my faith. When I take something away, I need to turn to my Lord instead. I know this is something I should be doing always: Putting the lord first in everything I do. But I'm human. I live in the flesh. I live in a fallen world and I cannot do this always. By observing Lent and making this small sacrifice, I am finding someway to humble myself.

This year I've decided to abstain from all meat but poultry. This includes that beautiful bacon you see below.

I made this decision as a way to keep a healthier lifestyle. On the days when Mr. B indulges in a steak, hamburger, or bacon slices, I plan to fill my plate with more natural foods, like veggies, fruits and grains.

In order to prepare myself for this small sacrifice, I did my own indulging in this potato skillet dish over the weekend. Skillet-fried potatoes slathered in cheddar cheese and crispy bacon.....I stuffed myself full.
Skillet Potatoes with Bacon & Cheddar

Serves 6-8

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
4 slices bacon, crispy and chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
scallions and plain Greek yogurt to garnish

Heat a large skillet over medium-high, cooking onions in 3 Tbsp oil, about 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cover. Cook on medium-low heat 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring often. (Cooking time varies depending on thinness of potatoes.) Sprinkle cheese and bacon pieces on top. Cover and cook another 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Add garnishes and serve.

In case you're at a lost this Lenten observation, check out these blog posts for creative ideas on what to give up (or add), or for more insight: Reflection: Lent, 33 Things to Give Up for Lent, 25 Creative Ideas, Yoga Thoughts on Lent, Welcoming Ash Wednesday.

Are you observing Lent? If so, what are you giving up or adding?

With Love and God Bless,

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