Get Out of that Kitchen and Enjoy Life!

HUH?

A series of television ads have been telling Moms to get out of the kitchen! (I suppose there might be a few men stuck in there.) Hey, what are you cooking for? Don’t you know that your kids would rather have junk food and see more of you?

This surprised me a lot.  I do cook most meals, bake bread, cakes, cookies and pies, make jam, and oh, all that. But I didn’t realize that I was denying our family anything by doing so.

One ad shows the big greasy bucket of KFC (overseas readers, this is Kentucky Fried Chicken, a venerable American food product available in chain restaurants) on the patio table, Mom kicking around a soccer ball with the offspring. (Dad may be in the garage having a quiet beer and muttering to himself about home-cooked dinners.) “Spend more time with your family!”

At the cost of their heart health, their digestive systems and your wallet, of course.

What is wrong with this picture? Why isn’t the whole family in the kitchen, Dad slicing tomatoes for the salad, little Sarah setting the table, little Aaron filling water glasses, Mom taking the casserole out of the oven? Or is the kitchen such a depressing place that the family must avoid it for the sake of their mental stability?

I’m rarely alone in the kitchen for long. My husband will sit with me while I cook, chatting, especially if I make a cup of tea for him. Mother Kay likes to offer a helping hand, and Patience has to be chased away from the hot stove, since she thinks “Me cook!” is the best game in the world. Even the dogs hang out if I don’t make them stay at the doorsill. Our kitchen is the heart of the home, something happening most of the time, or about to happen, or has just happened (which means we are at the table eating.)

Okay, I’m home through the day, but I don’t always make elaborate meals. Sometimes I pop a burger or two on the grill. Sometimes we have cold meals. It makes no difference. A lot of tea and coffee and wine are drunk in the kitchen, stories told, laughter passed along.  The littlest one spends half her day in there, at her play kitchen or helping me. She has her own child-sized table and chairs, as well as a place at the “big” table. We watch television, and work at the computer, but our time together is in the kitchen, and we make the most of it.

For tens of thousands of years, the family has gathered at the campfire or hearth. We share the most in our lives over food. We sustain each other with love and unmitigated approval as well as with bread. We gather at the table when we need that bracing cup of tea after a bad shock. We head there when we are chilled or wet with weather.

God gave us the right sign in the sacrament of communion, bread and wine – and we gather at His kitchen table to share it.

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “Get Out of that Kitchen and Enjoy Life!

  1. magdalena,

    KFC ( affectionally known by some Aussies as ‘Kentucky Fried Cat’ due to the dubious nature of foodstuff they’re peddling along with a few horrid urban myths) is for better or worse alive and well down here. Its add campaign runs along the lines of ‘give Mum a break’ or the pernicious ‘Bring Back Dinner’…whereby all kitchen activities in said advertisments are portrayed as dead failures or bumbling farces with KFC saving the day. Wicked, Irrresponsible, disgraceful!! If one wishes for mashed potato, corn on the cob, salad and crumbed/coated chicken, it is FAR CHEAPER to make it oneself and a doddle; the vast array of cookery programmes on the television over the past f decade or so have gone to great pains (the good ones at any rate) to educate folk that it is just as quick, easy and affordable, not to mention, much nicer, to prepare quick meals at home on occasions when one would more often go the fast food route. Even supporting a local family-run restaurant is far preferable to the multinationals (did anybody see ‘Supersize me’ when it came out back in 2004???????)

    I love cooking, and when we’re with family or friends, it is much nicer at home, enjoying the process of making meals, sharing them, good company, good food and good times than taking the option the fast food giants would rather we took…

    We do have ‘take away’ here every couple of months or so, but it is either a family run chinese restaurant that is in walking distance and has been here for the past 40 years or so, or a similar little Italian joint in the other direction.

    The multinationals often employ tactics to crowd out the little mum and dad operations, or set up in food deserts, as Magdalena has discussed in comments for a previous article here.

    Brilliant post!!

    And if anyone’s still hankering for chicken ‘KFC style’, joint your bird, dry the skin as thoroughly as possible and combine flour with paprika, a little tumeric, salt, pepper, corriander seed, and onion powder or celery salt, dredge and bake in oven till golden brown; it works and is good, without the frying. Serve with mashed potato, home made wedges or chips, a really good potato salad and all the trimmings….. yum, and good the next day!!

    • Okay, how stupid do they think we are? It just adds to our own rationalizations, really, about how convenient take-out is, and what bad cooks we must be. I admit to the occasional fast-food burger when we are out of the house for an extended period, but it has to be a good fast food burger! It’s easier and faster for us to slap some on-sale frozen patties on the grill or under the broiler, dab on some yummy barbeque sauce (sometimes I make it myself) and add our own favourite cheese. The cost of frozen burgers and a packet of good buns is about what we would spend on just a couple of MickeyD’s, and feeds us all past satiety. Best of all, we can buy locally grown beef fairly cheaply, make our own patties and freeze them and do even better money- and nutrition-wise.

      I so want to start calling KFC Kentucky Fried Cat. I’ve got two on-sale fryers in the freezer, will try your recipe.

      Supper tonight is shepherd’s pie with homemade mashed, leftover beef and gravy and the remnants of a vegetable stew. Thicken the stew and gravy, cut up the beef, ladle it into a casserole and daub the (probably cheesy) potatoes on top, bake until browned…

      The only other improvement would be if I had leftover lamb.

      • Using leftovers for meals the mext day or even the day after that is par for the course wiht my parents and I. Especially using stews and casseroles for shepherds pie. When you make the casserole with a little meat and some kidney beans or the like you can make a little (money) go a long way. Not that we have to, but we prefer to and we love the food. I’m going to ask mum to try the recipe for the chicken as well. (I”m confined to bed and so miss cooking)

        Trish

  2. Isn’t it ridiculous? At the very same time we in public health have been trying to spread the message that the only solution to our obesity problem -which is very tightly associated with poverty – is to cook at home, bake your own, grow your own, and sit down together for your meals. We just had this conversation in a health class I’m teaching. Last night we talked about how poverty contributes to obesity since, at least in the States, generally speaking healthy food is much more expensive than unhealthy food (for a buck you can get a burger!). I said the only solution is to rediscover home economics skills. Save money by buying beans, rice, eggs, etc. Cook at home, grow vegetables, raise chickens (yes, even in the city), bake your own breads and cakes to control sugar content and to supply these items for your family at lower cost, eat meals together, etc.

    Sigh.

    • So right! Mother Kay says her overall expenses are lower feeding four than when she was feeding herself and the toddler (who can now pack it away like a big kid.) The reason is that she ate out a lot more, bought a lot of convenience food, and never made coffee at home. I cook almost all meals, bake bread and treats, and always make coffee at home – take-out coffee is a luxury for us.

  3. Me again. I don’t have TV so I see this ad on Hulu and am not sure if it’s on television. There is a Pop tart ad showing kids using pop tarts in new and unique ways such as Pop-tart ice cream sandwiches, Pop-tarts on sticks, etc. Every time I see it I think, “This is exactly what our fat children need this summer – really sweet Pop tarts sandwiching really sweet desserts”.

    Paula

    • I haven’t seen that ad. I don’t watch much children’s programming – when Patience is here, she gets small doses, and she’s with other family right now. I must have seen the KFC ad either on TLC or Discovery. How the hey do you put a Poptart on a stick?

  4. Paula and magdalena,

    Preach it sisters, TOO RIGHT!!!

    One of the fellows who attends the bible study class I go to has a daughter in law who works in food technology. I got chatting with the couple at a Bible study dinner a few weeks ago about the line of work, assuming it entaled creating new colours and flavours etc… though she works in packaging, (a whole post unto itself) the main thrust of the industry is to develop new ways that manufacturers can produce a product (i’ll not call it food) with nothing… that is to say, how to make, for instance, a commercial pound cake with as many characteristics as the ‘real thing’ for the least possible cost; cheapest possible shortening, no eggs, cheapest possible sweetner – the corn syrup revolution – colours flavours etc. yup; they’re (the, mainly large scale,
    manufacturers) ever looking for ways to pear down the bottom line…

    Additionally many LGA’s in Western cities have prohibitions on raising chickenws etc; minimum 4 metres around pen and either fenceline or neighbours, or ban it altogether, ridiculous laws that hobble or prevent vegetable gardens, lack of essential infrastructure to facilitate easy access to good suppliers (are you going to haul a weeks worth of groceries in a backpack 2 hours home via public transport if it exists??)

    One of the travesties I’ve noticed (particularly prevalent among the covering/frugality/homekeeper/modesty groups I’m a part of is the utter lack of appreciation of fresh ingredients and use of canned, jarred, frozen etc!! using coupons as a food lifeline, buying a palet of noodles and pasta sauce when its on saile rather than considering purchasing the ingredients and making it themselves, next to no acknowledgement of fresh fruit, veg, good dairy, eggs etc coupled with some pretty horrific health problems scores of these women especially are dealing with. Now, I know I am no poster-girl for the slim look, (far from it, and anybody who knows me will be quick to point this out rather hurridly and I accept it), but I cannot get over the ignorance and poverty combined among the body of Christ – I was raised in a single parent home in government housing but our mother always managed, even if it was simple, to provide good home cooked meals, using the affordable cuts, plenty of fruit and veg, home baking, etc. Fresh produce seems to be scandellously expensive in the US especially (cannot vouch for Canada).

    Paula, you are needed, sister!! Keep fighting the good fight in your health classes and perhaps become affiliated some how with your local farmers’ market and slow food chapter.

    Magdalena, thank you for speaking on this so passionately!

    Finally, since home economics is no longer taught as it ought to be as a compulsory subject in many school juristictions, we’re reaping the results.

    Let us keep up the good work!!

    • Backyard chickens are a big controversy in some cities. The fear is that they wll attract rats with spilled grain, droppings will spread infections and the commercial chicken producers keep waving the avian flu flag, convincing people that avian flu will start in small flocks – as if it won’t be the other way around. Of course, spilled dog food and trash left out will attract rats much faster. Sweeping up the spilled grain and droppings daily will prevent this, and you’d want to anyway, or it would get pretty whiffy. If you have a clean yard, set out rat traps and maybe get a cat or terrier, the rats will stay away. (As if people haven’t done this for thousands of years!)

      I’ve got nothing against the occasional tin of soup or jarred tomato sauce in their place, but I agree that too many frugal and homesteading types look to the coupons and the sales to provide cheap food. A garden, overall, is cheaper. If a municipality is trying to prevent home gardens – condos in particular seem to be opposed to tomato plants – disguise them with flowers or put into containers.You can grow at least some food indoors in bright windows. There’s always the farmer’s markets, too, for those who have no growing space at all.

      I think a lot of our overall health problem is related to the processed food we eat, high in salt and sugar even if it is technically low in fat. I know we need to move away from our reliance on bottled sauces for flavour, and we need to give up carbonated drinks – even diet ones. Nicholas is particularly sensitive to corn syrup, and I haven’t been reading labels as well as I should. Of course, while I have control over my food preferences, we live in community and not everyone feels the same way. But I really want to go back to a vegetable-based diet, with lean meats. We have one fish and bean hater in the household, which makes planning those meals difficult.

      • Interesting observation about diet soda – it is still associated with obesity. Why? Probably because the sweet flavor (whether real or fake) encourages us to eat more. Probably some kind of lizard-brain caveman foraging holdover where bitter is toxic and sweet means not toxic or something.

        Let me share my theory about processed foods. Mass production of food has lowered our prices for food but robbed us of the quality. What most of us will find is that when we’re eating a really good meal we’re satisfied with less of it. I think it’s because we get a hit of satisfaction in one of 2 ways; either by flavor or by stomach-stretching quantity. Processed food lacks flavor so we get our ‘hit’ by quantity. What is worse is that this food is so bad that it has to be amended with grease, salt, sugar, or some combination thereof so we’re consuming these -grease, salt, sugar – at astounding rates.

        Next time you’re in the grocery store pick up a popular brand of yogurt. Regular yogurt has about 20 grams of sugar per serving. Remember that a little less than 5 grams equals about a teaspoon so that is more than 4 teaspoons of sugar in that little serving of yogurt? Continue the exercise by looking at how much sugar is in things like breakfast cereal. Then, purely for kicks, look for high fructose corn syrup!

        And this is why the best thing you can do for your health is cook from scratch.

      • That’s why I stay away from processed yogurts. It’s easy to make anyway, and better to sweeten it with a bit of homemade jam if you must. Most of the world eats it like a fresh cheese, not a dessert.

  5. Here in Sweden it is still unusual with people who never cook at home. Most people at least do some cooking, of course, some people use ready-made products for the most parts but I have not met anyone who cannot cook a proper meal at all. At least they do a couple of dishes although some might not know more than 5-10 dishes.

    I love cooking and I avoid using ready-made products if possible. I do not take it to extremes though, I mean, I do not do my own mustard or sausage but I do all I can from scratch. I make all kinds of stews (I finally found a cast iron pot for stews which was reasonably priced so this weekend I will try it for the first time which I long for), meat loaf, meat balls, soups, vegetarian stews- nearly anything you can come up with. I cook several dishes during the weekend which can be eaten later in the week after work or I can bring them as lunch. By doing this I do not need to cook every day after work but I can still combine home-cooked proper meal with working and not being stressed out. Sometimes I cook during the week too and only rarely I eat the type of food I plan to eat tonight, hotdogs (both sausages and bread from the store) but sometimes it is necessary to be able to relax and not cook too much.

    I love being in the kitchen and I am so happy my new apartment will have a proper kitchen which you can fit a table in and which you can hang out in and talk and do stuff together with friends and family. That’s the way I liked it to be!

    • I should find a Swedish cookbook again. I used to have some old ones, even one in Swedish. My husband is willing to try any kind of food, but I haven’t made Swedish style meals for him. I would like to have a cast iron stewpot again. They are called Dutch ovens here, probably because early German settlers used them.

      Eating is so much better when you can share food with friends!

  6. Magdalena,

    if you’re going to make the Chicken, feel free to add some additional spices to your taste; experiment with the coating until you find the right combination that you and your household enjoy. This would work well with garlic or garlic/lime aeoli;

    mustard, eg yolks (you can use whole eggs, also, if you wish but I’ve never made whole egg mayo or similar), good teaspoon mild mustard (helps in the emulcification process), lemon or lime juice, (please use fresh, not the pre-bottled squeezie brands – they don’t work), neutral oil such as an extra light olive oil (some use Extra Virgin, but this has a powerful flavour). I find vegetable oil too ‘heavy’. finely mince fresh garlic, as much as you like, and perhaps a little rind of the lemon or lime and fold through once the mayo is made to give aeoli.

    Enjoy!!

    Re reaching for the bottle and tin, I too use pre made passata etc when tomatos are not in season; I guess I gasp at the over-reliance on botled ingredients by the palet load and boxed prefabs as legitimate recipe inclusions. Though I’ve never had a go at sausage making, among the slow food crowd and right throughout our various Mediteranian communities, it is very common to cure meats and make sausage at home, along with wine, and passata etc; more often than not, passata making is a community event at the end of the tomato season with enough set aside for the following year, much with a shelf-life of up to 3 years if it survives not being gobbled up. It is illegal to sell true farmhouse sausage at market in Australia, but communities trade amongst themselves. Local cheese making is also not unheard of. I myself recall with fondness a home ecconomics class, my first, in secondary school in which we learnt to make ricotta, producing a gorgeous batch of the stuff; sweet, large curds, creamy, delicious!! If I had the confidence to turn the whey into something (ricotta can also be made from this), I’d do some, but you wind up with a 1 to 10 ratio; 1 part cheese to 10 parts whey.

    Speaking of food, sustainable traditions, homestead/community etc, check out ‘Cheese Slices’ on http://www.abc.net.au/iview!! makes me want to chuck theology and become an artisan food producer!! Let’s see where God leads me; finish theology and then go on to practice it – via hospitality, both in the enjoyment, and in the teaching…

    • I fret that my garden this year is an old washtub! “I’ll be putting up tomatoes next month,” friends say with smug self-satisfaction. I don’t have access to wild berries, either, and fiddleheads are just about as common as pomegranates here. (Fiddleheads are the just-emerging frond of a certain kind of bog fern.) While I can buy all kinds of good produce here, I can’t do much about acquiring my own. This frustrates some deep-seated, primeval need!

      I love good cheese, and we have a good cheesemaker in the next town over, but whoa! it’s spendy. With the price of milk in Canada it is probably cheaper to buy the cheese than make it. Raw milk is unavailable in Canada, and the government is very strict about that. There is a fear that raw milk will be a vector for disease again, as it was in the past, but cows rarely get the horrible illnesses they used to be subject to – better veterinary care, vaccination and so on. Raw milk simply cannot leave the farm in any form, sold, exchanged, or given away, unless it is purchased by a licensed processing dairy. I would keep a couple of Jerseys and a few goats if I had the room just for cheesemaking. I know raw milk isn’t necessary for all cheesemaking – it’s the fat and protein that the enzymes and cultures work on – but somehow that feels less authentic.

      I would love to produce artisan cheese, heirloom vegetables, free range eggs and amazing peasant bread – but as you say, that theology thing gets in the way!

  7. It’s interesting to me that, while reading the comments on this thread about KFC and their beguiling advertising, the company’s Christmas ad came on the tv. It starts with “give yourself the gift of time”, and ends with “start your own holiday tradition, and leave the cooking to us”. I will leave aside the question of whether one can start a tradition by oneself (no, one may start a family custom; but a tradition, by definition, is passed down at least a few generations), and a blatant ripoff of a famous Greyhound commercial. To me the implications of this commercial are horrible. Forget your established family holiday customs and traditions, and do something else for entirely selfish reasons, that is more convenient–and, oh by the way, will benefit us rather than the turkey farmers. Give yourself the gift of loads of time you don’t know what to do with, and give the kids a lot of time to get into trouble. And cheap (?) take-out food is perfectly OK for a major religious and cultural event, so long as you have all the side dishes. Sheesh! There is just so much wrong with that whole commercial, that the more I think about it, the worse it gets.

    When I think of “The Holidays” the FIRST thing that comes into my mind is all the inconvenient and time-consuming preparation that goes into those family meals, observing all the customs of our family making it into something more than just an exercise in feeding your face. Besides the way it brings the immediate family together, also maintains a connection with loved ones no longer on earth, but still who participate in the meal in some way–Grandma’s stuffing recipe, Great Aunt Bessie’s lemon cake, the way Mom used to prepare the turkey, the songs that everybody has sung longer than anyone can remember, and so on. Everybody pitched in to help, and the guests usually brought dishes of their own. How can sending out for KFC give you time that’s more valuable than all that?

    This being said, KFC is one of the few fast food items that I will sometimes look for if I’m hungry and away from home (Wendy’s being the next one). The mother of a family I lived with for a while used to manage a franchise, and The Colonel’s recipe was on the dinner table pretty often. Still, I don’t eat it very often these days, since I’m pretty particular about what I put in my body. I only have it once in a very great while. BTW, the lady mentioned above and her family always called it “Kentucky Fried Chipmunk”, which I still do today. To be sure, there’s no mystery meat in KFC, it’s chicken like any other chicken. It’s not some strange genetically modified product of science, as some people like to claim, or at least no more so than any other commercial chicken. The problem with it is the amount of fat, salt, modifiers, etc which does make it bad, bad food if you eat it too often.

    As another aside, I am Eastern Orthodox, and observe the Church’s fasts pretty closely, especially during Great Lent when meat, eggs, dairy, and fish with backbones are not allowed. I do pretty well for a couple of weeks, and maybe start getting a little prideful about how well disciplined I am, and then guess what I start craving like crazy? Yes, none other than KFC! It’s funny because I don’t have it very often at all, and after Pascha when I can eat anything I want to, I don’t think about it again. I guess it’s the fatty stuff that my body starts wanting.

    • We were just talking about the Lenten fast – my husband wants to keep the strict fast with just eggs added a couple of times a week – we’ll see how it goes, considering his health issues. I love the fasts, but there are times when, yes indeed, you crave the strangest things. Fritos? Tuna? You must be Russian typikon, which I seem to remember allows caviar on some saints days. And doesn’t that Paschal hard-boiled egg and glass of wine taste divine?

      • Yes, we do use a Russian system, and there is some debate about caviar during Lenten periods. In general, our church calendar is color-coded for the fasting rule for each day: white is a non-fast day, and pink is a fast day, with a note as to what is allowed. For instance, it will say “wine and oil allowed”. As with just about everything in Orthodoxy, this is subject to various interpretations; but in general that means you can have wine, beer, or hard cider (but no more than one or two “for the glory of God”, and no hard liquor), and you can use olive oil on those days, which is otherwise not allowed. This usually works out to “wine and oil” being allowed on Saturdays and Sundays, and a few weekdays here and there. It’s complicated, and that’s why we need a calendar that spells it all out. Of course, you can make it easy on yourself, by simply eating all vegetarian food for every day of Lent–with important cautions about watching out how much money you spend on it, and not falling into the prideful “healthier than thou” attitude vegetarians unfortunately seem to develop as often as not.

        Fish, or more specifically “fish with backbones”, is allowed on only two days during Great Lent, the Annunciation and Palm (or Passion) Sunday. On those days, the calendar says “fish, wine, and oil allowed”. The other three lesser fasting periods are less strict, and you can usually have fish any day except Wednesday or Friday. Seafood is allowed at any time, but as our priest continually points out, you’re not following the spirit of Lent if you avoid hamburger, but serve lobster. As a practical matter, though, most Americans will eat any kind of inexpensive fish at any time during Lent.

        Caviar (or in some years written on the calendar as “fish roe”) is mentioned only one time on the whole calendar, on Lazarus Saturday (the day before Palm Sunday, which has its own special service). Otherwise, there’s no specific rule about it, and people view it different ways: some regard it as fish, and so is subject to the “fish rule”; others regard it as eggs, and therefore not allowed except for that one day. I think the general view is: in America, caviar is considered a luxury, even the relatively inexpensive kinds, and since we avoid certain behaviors and indulgences during Lent, as well as certain foods, it is not allowed except on Lazarus Saturday. In Russia, where caviar is served more frequently, they may think of it differently. Also, the rules vary from one Orthodox jurisdiction to another, and I’m really only familiar with my own.

        What you say of “that hard-boiled egg and glass of wine” tasting divine is exactly right, though for me, it’s the dairy food–that first glass of milk, that first taste of cheese, that first bit of bread with butter on it. I put red caviar and cream cheese in my Pascha basket, and after a 40-day fast, and a long, long series of church services, such things are truly a foretaste of the bliss of Heaven.

      • Yes, the easiest fast is the all-vegan, all the time! The typikons can be quite complicated in some places. My own rule is that birthday cake is always allowed, as long as it is eaten on an actual birthday of someone you know, so no cheating with bakery cakes just because it is the birthday of Louis XV.

        I miss the whole holy week cycle. We’ve cut it too short in the Anglican church, although it used to be twice daily services, with emphasis on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and the Paschal eucharists. The Great Vigil of Pascha has been restored, but isn’t well-kept in most jurisdictions.

        Don’t you notice how tetchy people can get during the long fast? Maybe your church is better than some, but it is almost a time to avoid other Orthodox!

  8. Yes, people do tend to get cranky after a few weeks during Great Lent, which is why we are also reminded that we’re supposed to “fast” from bad words, behavior and feelings as much as possible. As Christ put it, it’s not what we put into our mouths that make us unclean, it’s what comes out of it that shows what we are truly like on the inside. Also, we Orthodox tend to put way too much emphasis on what food is or isn’t permitted (how many gnats are in the water we drink?), and forget that the real Lenten rule is about fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, all equally important. If our fasting rule makes us constantly think about ourselves, rather than the Lord and other people, then we’re doing it wrong.

    My parish has seven services in four days (including the Monday following Easter Sunday), and being a member of the choir, I have to be at all of them. Some of them seem to go on forever, and the choir does most of the work. So we choir members joke about bringing sleeping bags and just staying at the church from Thursday to Monday. And this is considered a fairly light parochial schedule, if you had the resources, you could do services every day from the Saturday before Palm Sunday to the Sunday following Easter Sunday. My parish tried to do Bridegroom Matins on Holy Tuesday for a few years, but that wasn’t well attended, so we dropped it; but the Thursday-through-Monday services are still well attended.

    Your comment about birthday cake was right on the mark–everyone is allowed exceptions to their fasting rule for good reasons, but you should not apply “economia” (flexiblity in following rules) to the extent that you end as a with no real rule at all. A good example is American Thanksgiving Day: our Advent season is 40 days, not four weeks, and therefore starts on November 15. Most Orthodox in America use the New Calendar, so that means Thanksgiving Day always falls about a week after the beginning of Advent. Because of that, we don’t usually start the Advent fast until after Thanksgiving, because everyone knows they’re going to be eating meat on that day; and important national holidays, even a secular one like Thanksgiving, are respected in Orthodox tradition. On the other hand, during the “holiday season” that follows, one shouldn’t fish for invitations to Christmas parties with the intention of using them to avoid fasting as much as possible during December. Anyone with a social life can’t always avoid such parties, and we do say that if someone gives you food, you eat it with good grace, regardless of what it is; but parties should be attended as little as possible, and any that can be skipped over should be. Just like birthdays, there’s a party every day if you look for it, but we don’t start celebrating and partying until December 25. And then, with the Russians especially, all stops are pulled out! And, as an aside, some Russians will use the Old Calendar as an excuse to keep partying until the middle of January. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s