My mother used to make it around this time of year which was always during “Lent,” the time of year Christians are encouraged to abstain from something, usually something sweet.
She had “seasons” for some foods. February and July were cherry times — February for the president’s birthday holiday and July because that’s when the cherries are ripe. She would make pies or strudel or something else but it would have cherries in it.
Christmas was the time for all those wonderful nut pastries.
Donuts were plentiful right before lent but I never figured out why she made lemon meringue pie in March.
It’s not like we had a lemon tree or anything. Nor did we tint it green for St. Patrick’s Day.
Despite the fact that we were devout Catholics, we didn’t give up desserts for Lent. Good grief we weren’t crazy.
The experts say that you shouldn’t set yourself up for failure. Make your goals realistic. Giving up desserts would have been off the charts crazy – not the way my mother baked. Yum!
I would give up something that I kind of liked but could possibly live without. I remember giving up eye shadow when I was around eleven. No, I wasn’t allowed to wear it which made it so much easier.
After all, if you didn’t succeed, you were doomed. Since I already had a morbid fear of possibly committing one of those sins in my prayer book that I didn’t understand – like adultery or suicide. (There was no Google back then and both of those were taboo topics to discuss with kids.)
I wasn’t taking any chances. I planned on going to heaven eventually – when I was really old – much older than I am now!
In school we were instructed to give up candy. To reinforce it, the school closed the candy concession and we had a pretzel break every day. If Sister Catalda knew the truth she would have freaked out. I liked pretzels better than the stale candy they sold in my small school.
If you’re going to sell candy, make it the good stuff. Forget the Good and Plenty or the Dots, bring on the Three Musketeers and Snickers!
Fortunately at home, my mother didn’t give up anything and there was no way I was going to tell her I wasn’t eating her pie. After all there were starving children somewhere.
That brings me back full circle. I need to make a trip to our local bakery and get a small lemon meringue pie. This is a “Lenten” sacrifice I’m doing for my mother. There must have been a sound logical reason why you should eat it during March. I just don’t know what it is.
Photo credits: Allrecipes