Since my kids are starch-itarians, going meatless on Fridays doesn’t quite have the same effect as it does on adults. I suspect that when they find out that we’re having grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner tonight I will receive the title The Best Mama Ever in the Whole World and there will be much rejoicing in our little house. My daughter asked me today why we give up meat on Fridays. I explained that sometimes, when people get so preoccupied with things that they really like, it’s hard to be good. So Lent is a time that we do without some of those things that we like so that we’re not so distracted. Then we can focus on being better. I suggested that she should think of something else she can do without today, since she’s not really a big fan of meat.

“Oh, I can’t have that at all. My teacher says that if there’s something we really like, then we can’t have it!” announced another daughter when I was serving her something at breakfast. Not that she understood why. I’m going to have to work on the whys. As Pope Benedict puts it, Lent is not a season of sadness, but a season of meaning:

“In common opinion, this time runs the risk of being marked by sadness, by the darkness of life,” the Pontiff stated. “Instead, it is a precious gift of God; it is an intense time full of meaning in the journey of the Church; it is the itinerary to the Lord’s Easter.”

Changes in food routine always makes for an increase in interesting conversation at our house during mealtimes. It’s a great chance to work on the various whys of this liturgical season.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Now, the only reason I’m about to tell you how to make a grilled cheese sandwich is that, once upon a time, not so long ago, I didn’t know how to make them either. Really and truly. So here goes: butter two pieces of bread (butter goes on the outside of the sandwich). Put cheese on the inside, non-buttered part. Set a pan to medium and place the sandwich on the heated pan. After a long, long time, flip. You’ll know it’ll be time to flip when the bottom of the sandwich is a nice, toasted golden brown. When you flip, all the cheese will fall out and the entire thing will fall apart. At least this is what happened to me the first few times. Take a deep breath, reconstruct the sandwich and try again.