Monday, February 07, 2005


As I was writing last night’s post about our Excessively Meaty Dinner, it occurred to me that Tuesday, February 8 (tomorrow, as I write this) is Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday.

For Christians, Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the day that marks the beginning of Lent, a period of penitence, introspection, and privation (the degree of which depends on your specific religious beliefs and practices. I guess.) Back in the day, it was traditional to eschew certain elements of a rich diet during Lent, things such as meat and butter. Lent was a fairly ascetic time of year. [Now, at least among certain segments of the population, giving up Sony Playstation is about as rough as it gets, am I right?]

And since you would be giving up meat for Lent, the day before Lent started - Fat Tuesday - would be an all-out blowout. Party, party, party. Eat, eat, eat. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow, you diet.

Which is pretty much why it’s called Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. Get your fat in, quick!

In Brazil, the Fat Tuesday festivities are marked by the Carnaval celebrations. Carnival / Carnaval - the word is the same, coming from the Latin carne vale - literally means, “Goodbye, Meat.”

Well, it struck me that our dinner Saturday night was more in the way of “Hello, Meat.” We sure did say “hello” to a lot of meat, we did. Said “goodbye” to it, too, as we wolfed it down.

And tonight, leftovers! The best thing about leftover brisket - when it’s braised, anyway - is that it gets better when it sits for a day or two. So we’ll be saying “Hello, Meat” again tonight.

[Now, all y’all nice Christian people out there, if I’ve got any of my facts wrong concerning Lent, etc., wrong, feel free to drop a comment. I’m writing from the perspective of someone who is on the outside looking in when it comes to all that Lent stuff...kinda like you would be with respect to Counting the Omer. But I’m never too shy to act like Mr. Know-It-All.]

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