The bottom of the barrel

    • 7th and 8th of March 2014

    • Sweet Potato Bisque

    • Cajun Beans



      • Estoufette

      • Okras

      • Corn Hush puppies

      • Pear and Spinach Salad

      • King Cake

      It’s Mardi Gras today, Fat Tuesday, last chance to indulge yourself before the death of winter really arrives in form of Ash Wednesday. The hams and bacon of the pig one slaughtered ┬áin November have brought you through the dark midwinter of December and Januari, but now with the full moon of Easter still 6 weeks away, the bottom of the barrel of fat is in sight. Scrape the last bit out, mix it with eggs and flour and bake pancakes.


      In the Netherlands it is tradition to eat herring on the first day of lent, tomorrow. Apparently it cures a hangover. Meat wasn’t allowed during the fasting period (carnival = bye bye meat), fish was. Herring is full of nice omega 3 fats, so it isn’t too much of a shock to the system after the indulgence of Carnival.


      Nowadays I doubt it if fish would be part of the Lent diet. Meat was scarce and fish was plenty for the common people in centuries gone by. But apart from farmed salmon and trout the rivers and lakes these days are empty. No other freshwater fish is making it to the restaurant menu. We stick our nose in the air for pike, full of bones.


      In the sea we are reaching the end of the line as well. The book and film with that title show how overfishing is destroying the ecosystems of the oceans. I have seen for myself which devastating effects this had in New Foundland, where the sea once was so full of cod that you could walk over them, but where since 1992 fishing is forbidden to make sure there are some left.

      So should we all become mournful tomorrow and cover ourselves with ashes, because there is nothing left? Off course not, but eating like it is Shrove Tuesday every day of the year, is the other extreme. Lent can teach us not to be too greedy, and be grateful for what’s still left in the big barrel of food. Maybe we shouldnt be to picky with the pike, and once in a while give it a go.

One comment on “The bottom of the barrel

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