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Why fast during the Lenten season?

Why fast during the Lenten season?

Wild Mushrooms circa 1915, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Wild Mushrooms circa 1915, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Research on the culinary traditions of Lent have resulted in a good number of sources from the late nineteenth century to the 1940s. Most come from historic newspaper collections and images. They serve as the basis for a series on food and the Lenten season. We share our findings in a paraphrased format when necessary to make them legible and we share illustrative direct quotes as often as possible. Why fast during the Lenten season? Fasting is designed to in part decreased dependence on one's flesh/human nature and improve one's spiritual sensitivity. During lent one’s diet transitions to center on fish, soups, and dairy products and eating in moderation. In 1903 a writer for the Hartford Courant suggest the observant to make soups that are “less a soup than . . . a savory ragout.” 

Mushroom Soup Recipe

Ingredients

1 can mushrooms

Bay leaf

Celery

Parsley

1 cup milk

1 pound butter

Instructions

Cook one can of mushrooms in water with a bay leaf, celery and a little parsley. When tender rub through a purée stove and returned to the liquor which they were boiled. Add to this one cup of milk, bring to boiling point, then stir in 1 pound of butter and one of flour rub to a paste. When he begins to thicken, season with salt and pepper. Serve steaming hot.

The Hartford Courant, Mar 17, 1903

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