Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cheese and Wine

I gave up drinking wine for Lent. Oh, and the occasional margarita on the rare times we go out to Carumba's. I'm not Catholic, not a practicing anything for that matter, but I rely on God in my life. And this is six weeks of discipline every year that I need, and makes me feel all righteous.

I gave up wine a few years ago for lent as well. No problem until we went to Ruidoso, NM with some friends to a wonderful house in the mountains for a weekend in March. The weekend consisted of fabulous scenery, fun conversation, playing cards, great food and good wine with our evening meal. Heaven in the Mountains. My friend convinced me that what happens in Ruidoso, stays in Ruidoso. I don't know if God bought it, but I did. I never recovered my discipline after that weekend - my worst lenten attempt ever.

The most difficult Lent I experienced was the year I gave up cheese. Now I loves me some cheese: any kind, all kinds. Enjoy experimenting with new and different cheeses, creating different dishes; moreover, my comfort food is good old Macaroni & Cheese. Those 40 days were pure hell. No Mexican food, no pizza, no Italian food of any kind, not even a good ole ham and swiss on rye. At the time, my workplace served the employees lunch; and there were many days of eating salad as that was the only thing available without cheese. Cooking consisted of lots of Asian cuisine which I enjoy, but dayum! Easter Sunday lunch consisted of rack of lamb and a wonderful recipe I have from Williams-Sonoma of bow tie pasta with roasted bell peppers, spinach and basil, sprinkled with parmesan. It was delectible. It was probably one of the healthier times in my life. I thought I would be able to cut down on my obsession after such an extended time of deprivation; but, like a junkie with keys to the pharmacy, it wasn't long before I was back to my old sinning ways. I have never since given up my fromage.

This Lenten discipline is doable. I miss a deeply resonant Cabernet with steak or roasted chicken and an oaky, bright Chardonnay, but I'll survive comfortably and I have that good old righteous feeling. And, there are no plans to go to Ruidoso! Next year, I think I'll test myself again with a strict discipline: giving up Limberger cheese.

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