I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to Lenten traditions, I’m something of a novice. However, I’m learning. This year, I’m trying to experience some traditional foods by doing a little more cooking than normal. A few weeks ago, I picked up a Lenten cookbook from the Greek Orthodox shrine in St. Augustine, so this will be my guide for the season.

I tried my first recipe last week for church lunch. I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t spectacular. It was a currant cake. It had an oily taste and was very crumbly. I should have taken advantage of the fact that Sunday is a feast day during Lent and I could have made anything I wanted. Next time, I’ll keep that in mind.

I’m cooking for church on Wednesday night, so I’m taking a safer route. For dessert, I’m making a simple honey cake. It’s dairy free and has walnuts. It just finished baking and I must say it smells quite delightful.

I’m also doing lentil and tomato soup. This is actually a combination of two lentil soup recipes in my new book. It tasted good when I made it early this morning, so I’m not too worried that I’ll have another currant cake fiasco.

I’m also trying an onion bread recipe. I know that a lot of people give up bread for Lent, so I hope there will be some takers. I’ve never made onion bread, so I hope it turns out. I’ve already told Emelius, my Papillion, that he has to wake up an hour early in the morning to help me.

The final item on the menu is turkey salad sandwiches. This wasn’t in the book, but I decided to make it because I have a turkey taking up space in the freezer. It’s basically like chicken salad but has the added twist of sun dried tomatoes.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten with my experimental Lenten cooking. Hopefully these recipes will be better than the currant cake. Lent is a time of sacrifice, so if the food is bad, I’ll be ok. People will have to sacrifice having a good meal by eating my experiments or just go hungry. Happy Lent!