Why Fast? And Mama’s Marinara Sauce

Real quick before we get into this, I want to point out that Chris’ bishop John has an interesting new blog.

Also, A prayer brochure for the Anglican Primates Meeting has been posted. Please remember to pray for all the Primates, not just the ones you think need it the most.

Anyway, back to fasting. The big question is, “Why should I fast?”

You can Google all these nifty web pages that will tell you fasting will cure everything from ADD to cancer to zits, it will immediately get God to answer your prayers, it will make you a Better Person™, fasting is like nitro in your spiritual engine, your spiritual life will SOAR!

I can’t testify to any of that happening in my own life. What I can testify to is that on days I am fasting, instead of going to the refrigerator and stuffing anything that looks tasty into my mouth while standing in front of the open fridge, and then running off to whatever else I was doing. I have to think about it for a minute. And yes, usually the first thing that goes through my mind is, “Oh, shitballs, I can’t eat that absolutely delicious-looking fried chicken, it’s Friday.”

That pause is enough to kick my brain out of autopilot and into seriously thinking about what I’m eating, and why. I’m not mindlessly consuming, I’m thinking about where my food came from and Whom I need to thank for it.

I’m 80% more likely to sit down for a meal and say Grace over a meal on a fasting day than on a non-fasting day. But that’s just me.

I think next week I’ll go into the types of fasting I’ve bumped into over my life (which will explain why I try to post straight-up vegan recipes). For now, I’m going to give you guys the super-secret recipe for my mother’s marinara sauce. It can be put together and plated in 15 minutes, or you can let it simmer for up to two hours to get the flavors to play nicer.

Mama’s Marinara Sauce
Serves 4
Note: You can leave out every ingredient that is in italics if you have fussy eaters. However, if you leave out the oil, do not try to fry up the aromatics. Just dump them all together and simmer. To de-vegan this, add Parmesan cheese. There is vegan ‘Parmesan cheese’ available, but I’ve tried it and I’d rather go without cheese than use it.

2 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small can of diced olives OR 1/4 c chopped Kalamata olives

1 16oz can tomato sauce
1 16oz can stewed tomatoes (Italian-style is best)
1 T basil
1 T oregano
1 t cracked black pepper
1 t red chili pepper flakes
salt to taste

In the bottom of a small saucepan, add the oil. Put over medium heat until it’s warmed up, then add the garlic and onion. Cook until translucent; if they start to brown turn the heat down. Add everything except the salt and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If the sauce is too bitter, add 1/2 T of sugar, and don’t tell my mother I told you that.

You can serve now, or simmer on low for up to two hours. Dump over 1 lb of the pasta of your choice, or polenta, or even brown rice (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).


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