Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Bye bye meat. But I won’t really miss you that much. Sure, you are full-flavored and succulent at times, but you aren’t my true love. Cheese, honey, you are the one I am going to miss. What with your melting all over and your rich, creamy taste. At least our parting will only be for two weeks this time, and not 40+ days. But when Mary assumes body and soul together into heaven, we will again be reunited. Until then, dear cheese, stay stinky.


Joanne said...

Are you seriously fasting ? For religious reasons? Your mother-in-law should be proud of you. Most Greeks I know, no longer partake in the ritual of fasting and communion. Times are changing. Ever since 2003, when Toronto experienced a SARS epidemic, people are very cautious about germ transmission. But I am a vegetarian and as such I do not care for red meat either. I'm also lactose/whey intolerant and cannot eat cheese and other dairy products. So, in a way, you may assume I am fasting and abstaining from animal products...:D

It's tofu time for you!! Yum.

melusina said...

Yes, we are fasting for religious reasons. My husband is Greek Orthodox, and he is pretty stalwart in his faith these days. I'm not religious at all, actually - but I go along to support him. Plus I figure a few stretches of veganism a year can't hurt me.

It has been a real challenge, because I am a picky eater, but with all the wonderful vegan recipes on the web we've found a few we both like.

The biggest problem is that Greece doesn't have the nice supply of vegan products on the market like the U.S., and only during the Christmas and Easter fasts do they carry any selection at all of fasting products in the stores. So the June fast and the August fast are a little more difficult. And of course the Christmas and June fasts both allow fish and seafood - while the Easter and August fasts don't.

Sure, we've cheated now and then. I still drink milk since I'm an aging female with bone problems already. But I don't think we cheated at all (maybe once or twice when we went out to eat with friends) during the Easter fast, which was a pretty big deal for us, since we are big cheese eaters and my husband loves sausages.

Διαγόρας said...

Fasting for health reasons is cool, I managed to do it for the first time in my life this past Easter, after my stubborn meat-eating wife agreed to follow and help. Surprisinly enough, by the end of the 40 days, neither one of us was badly missing meat nor were even overly anxious to resume eating it.

But cheese, now, cheese is another issue. C:=

But fasting for religious reasons? I hope you will write an article one day telling us about the marvels of being married to a religious person... C:=

Gloria said...

I fasted on meat every Lent, and everytime the 40 days are over, I don't feel like eating meat again anyway. I've been fasting on meat since 1st of January this year for personal religious reason. I don't miss much because there are a lot of vegan products that try to imitate meat. I'm not sure if buying imitation meat is against the purpose anyhow, but it doesn't make me miss meat, so that's good, haha. "have fun" this two weeks. ;)

Joanne said...

Mel...I, too, am Greek Orthodox (baptized) but a non-religious one at that. I love my seafood and fish, as well as all the meat alternatives out on the market these days(tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers/dogs, soy ice-cream, soy cheese, soy yoghurt, etc, etc,...so really - there is no need for meat, cheese, or other dairy in my life. My husband is Polish and loves his sausages too!!

Enjoy your abstinence...of the flesh ;P

Anonymous said...


OK, I'm impressed at your going with the flow and supporting your husband in his faith. That's pretty cool.

That being said, I don't know if I could give up cheese for my DH. I mean, cheese is why we are not vegan. We are vegetarian (OK, occasionally fish), but we cannot live without the wonderful stinky, rich, salty, creamy substances that originate from a cow's udders. CAN.NOT.DO.IT.

The fact that your husband can is really testament to his faith. I envy those folks, being spiritually the spiritually flummoxed agnostic that I am.

melusina said...

Diagoras, that is the thing, I think it is healthy for people to, now and then, give up meat and *sigh* dairy products. I think with many meat eaters is pretty easy still to give it up, but cheese, eggs, things that are just everywhere in our diet - are really difficult. I read labels when I buy things when we are fasting, and so many things contain some sort of milk, egg, butter, whatever, it is crazy! And when I say my husband is religious, well, he isn't really a fundamentalist or anything. For the first few years of our marriage he didn't go to church at all. But he has reconnected with his faith and as much as I might mock religions, I respect his faith and his effort to do right by it. Unfortunately, I am a bad influence in some respects. I can't help it. ;)

Gloria, well, I think those fake meat products still count. Some of them are better than meat. I remember in the U.S., when I had never fasted in my life, I bought Morningstar patties all the time just because they tasted good! I just really, really wish they had that kind of stuff here.

Joanne, I envy your vegan product choices! We get one kind of soy cheese (when it is available) and no soy yogurt or ice cream or anything.

Onward and Upward, yea, it is hard giving up cheese. And when my husband works a 24 hour shift at the hospital, I will eat cheese, devil that I am. But with the right recipes we actually survived the Easter fast (and he was off almost the whole time, so I didn't have his shift days to stuff myself with cheese!) and came out ok. The one thing that really kills my husband during the fast though is the lack of chocolate. He can't live without it, and it is a major temptation. But he manages, thanks to dark chocolate. ;)