The 2014 Lenten Recipe Thread

Okay folks, here it is: that thread you all wait for each year with fish-baited breath- It’s the 2014 edition of the Angelqueen Lenten food forum! Now I know we are all good Catholics when every Friday rolls around and we remember why that little fishie appears in each block that’s an abstinence day. (Although, I did shock my personal friends a couple years back when I told them I was giving up fish for Lent. I had to reassure them that I was simply going vegetarian on those days. But that’s neither here or there. I have to confess that I did it, because I was hating fish that year. Not very grace-inducing for me, was it?)

Somebody once queried, “But what if you absolutely LOVE fish? Isn’t it just turning Lent for that person into a season-long gourmand extravaganza? That’s not very penitential.” And that somebody was right.

A very good traditional nun once told me that even those excused from fasting for medical or work reasons can still honor the spirit of Lent. Don’t like pepper on your food? Put pepper on your food. Drink a juice that’s very good for you, but that you can’t stand. Love fish? Go vegetarian. Hate fish? Pile it on. You get the idea.

So with this in mind I’m going to post some funny, but real recipes. To paraphrase what is in the Gospel for Ash Wednesday, we’re not supposed to go around in sackcloth with a mopey look on our face. We, in all things should be cheerful Catholics. Please, PLEASE make this an active thread and post your own recipes as well. And yes, if all you’ve got is your mom’s Tuna Casserole directions, then that’s very much welcome too.

Well, for humor, you can’t start better than these two doozies. Ever wonder what Ebenezer Scrooge’s “gruel” was? It’s here, with potato and without and it’s all too real. Repent!:)

This recipe is based on the ingredients used in an 18th century workhouse. Gruel was one of the main foods provided. At this workhouse (Sunday-Thursday) on three days of the week, male inmates were served a pint and a half of gruel, a pint and a half of broth, five ounces of cooked meat, twelve ounces of bread and eight ounces of potatoes. On the three alternate days, the men were fed twelve ounces of bread, a pint and a half of gruel, a pint and a half of soup, and two ounces of cheese. On Fridays, they were served twelve ounces of bread, a pint and a half of gruel, fourteen ounces of suet or rice pudding, and two ounces of cheese. The meagre menu was divided into three meals daily. Women and children were given slightly less.

3 dessert spoonfuls of oatmeal
1 pint of water
a little salt

Mix the oatmeal with a little cold water to make a paste Put the rest of the water in a pan Add the mixture and boil for 10 minutes Add the salt
Too scary? Remember that Scrooge “splurged” and went for the better version, and thought that Jacob Marley’s apparition could be the result of an undigested bit of potato.

Potato Gruel
Cut up 1 small potato into large thumb size dices.
Boil on med. boil for 10 minutes in 2 cups of water.
Add ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of white pepper.
Turn heat down to low and add 2 large tablespoon of butter.
While stirring, add 2 tablespoons of flour in a little at a time.
Keep stirring softly until all the flour is all dissolved and it makes thick gravy.
By now the potatoes will just be starting to lose their square shape and start to look more rounded, but still firm in the middle. This is exactly what you want because the outer edges of the potatoes that mix with the flour water is actually what makes the flavor of the gruel so good. The dish will turn out to be half gravy and half potatoes.

You serve each person a cottage style bowl of their very own, with a huge wedge of warm crusted bread. No fork for this meal! You just sop up the gravy and chunks of potatoes with the bread and wash it down with a cold glass of milk. You just cannot eat this without the bread!

Got an old relative who lived through WWII? Ask them how they survived it, especially the folks who stayed at home. There’s a whole slew of penitential recipes from that era when rationing existed and people were fasting to defeat Hitler.

Mock Goose

Cooking time: 1 hour Quantity: 4 helpings

1 1/2 lb. potatoes
2 large cooking apples
4 oz. cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
salt and pepper
3/4 pint vegetable stock
1 tablespoon flour

Method: Scrub and slice potatoes thinly, slice apples, grate cheese. Grease a fireproof dish, place a layer of potatoes in it, cover with apple and a little sage, season lightly and sprinkle with cheese, repeat layers leaving potatoes and cheese to cover. Pour in 1/2 pint of the stock, cook in a moderate oven for 3/4 of an hour. Blend flour with remainder of stock, pour into dish and cook for another 1/4 of an hour. Serve as a main dish with a green vegetable.

Golden Barley Soup.
Grate or mince 2 lb. of carrots, put with 1 small teacup of barley into 1 quart of water and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Roll a piece of margarine the size of a walnut in 1 tablespoonful of flour and stir it into the soup. Cook fast for 8 minutes, season. Serves 4 or 5 helpings
The Depression of the Thirties had plenty of cheapo fixes for the family:

Pasta with Peas
First, you peel and dice a potato. Then, dice some onions and fry them with the potato and some olive oil in a pan. Now, simply add a can of peas, two cups of water and a pinch of salt and pepper.
When the broth comes to a boil, add the uncooked pasta and stir everything together. Now you can finish cooking the dish by boiling it or letting it cook by itself with the stove off and a lid on the pot.
“In the Depression, we would turn off the gas and let it cook by its own heat. So we would save gas. Anything to save anything,” Clara says.
Finally, add some tomato sauce and grated cheese on top.

Pea Casserole

1 can peas,
1 small onion
salt, pepper
2 cups bread crumbs
3 T. shortening
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs.

Brown onion and bread crumbs in shortening. Add milk. Cook until thick. Mix all together. Put in greased pan. Beat eggs and pour over casserole. Bake like meatloaf.

Poverty Cake

2 c water
2 c raisins
1 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp plus a little bit of cloves
2 Tbsp lard
2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

Boil the first 6 ingredients for 3 minutes and then cool. When cooled, add the flour and baking soda. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed till mixture is bubbly. Pour into loaf pan, that has been greased and floured. Bake for 1 hour in 350º oven, then reduce heat to 300º. Bake about 15 more minutes or until cake is done.

Crazy Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cold water

Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Depression Yeast Corn Bread

Cook time: 45 Min Prep time: 10 Min Serves: 4-6
Dissolve 1 pkg yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, Scald: 2 cups milk, Pour over: 1/3 cup lard or shortening and 1/3 cup of sugar. Cool and add 2 eggs, well beaten and 1 tsp salt and the yeast mixture. Mix well and add 4 cups flour and 1/2 cup cornmeal. Pour mixture into two loaf pans at this time and let rise until double. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 mins

Well, how about it, folks? I really intend to give that Pea Casserole and the Pasta with Peas a try. Now post your own suggestions and let’s make this thing really take off.

Get AQ Email Updates

5 comments on “The 2014 Lenten Recipe Thread

  1. Here’s a baked fish recipe:

    Preheat oven to 350F (about 180 C)
    Soak fish filets in a mixture of milk, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of lemon or lime.
    While that’s marinating, mix equal parts paprika, garlic powder, allspice, and salt. Add a dash of cumin to the mixture.
    Line a large cast iron skillet with tin foil.
    Take the fish out of the liquid, place in the skillet, sprinkle the spice mixture over it, and then sprinkle with some grated cheese (such as colby).
    Bake in the oven until the cheese starts to bubble (about 10 minutes).

  2. Oops forgot to say drain runs and dry chip peas as best you can with paper towels.

  3. Runs above = RINSE. Darn Siri and her auto correct! Lol


    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, put through a press
    1 pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms
    2 tbsp. butter
    1 tbsp. olive oil
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 cup flour
    1 cup white wine
    1 pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
    1 box vegetable stock
    pinch each of parsley and thyme
    1 bay leaf
    1 cylinder of pillsbury biscuits

    Earlier in the day:
    In a Dutch saute onions, with salt and pepper in the butter and oil until translucent. Add the garlic and stir, being careful not to burn. Add the mushrooms and saute until soft. Add the flour; stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the cup of wine; allow to come to the slow boil and reduce a bit. Add the mixed vegetables and vegetable stock, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. (If you need more liquid add water or more stock.) Return to the boil for a bit; then, reduce to a simmer for ten minutes. Check seasoning. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. (This allows flavor to develop.)

    Towards dinner time:
    Return Dutch oven to stove top and reheat. (If not thick enough, add instant mashed potatoes or instant tapioca for desired consistency.)
    Open biscuits and quarter each biscuit.
    Pour Dutch oven contents into casserole and make design with quartered biscuits on top.
    Bake, following biscuit package directions.

    Serve with a green salad, with a light Dijon vinaigrette.

Leave a Reply