Friday 8 March 2019

Mystery of Galaretka Solved!

Once I was a mighty blogger... Oh well!

Devoted readers will have divined that I am very, very, very busy with a series of news article for work. The house is a mess, my Polish lessons have been put to the side (mostly), my snail mail correspondence goes neglected ...

Somehow, though, I will drag myself back to my normal schedule--the one that involves dusting, hoovering, studying Polish for an hour, and studying German for 20 minutes. Today my Polish tutor came by, and I was still able to hold a comprehensible conversation, so that's good news.

Another bit of good news is that someone on Facebook linked to this excellent, informative blog. The woman makes her own pączki; I am amazed.  The linker linked to this, however, as an example of food that should never be eaten. Naturally the linker is wrong: it looks absolutely delicious. And now I understand what karp w galarecie means. It is a phrase from Polish in 4 Weeks Part 2 that I never bothered looking up. Clearly it is "carp in aspic", which I will not be making, for nobody, not even a Pole, really likes carp.

Looking at "Polish Your Kitchen" makes me long for Easter. I love making Polish Easter Breakfast; if you're reading this because you hate my LSN coverage, perhaps that will humanise me a bit in your eyes. Is there anything more revolutionary than sausage soup and jam tart for breakfast? Well--maybe chicken Jello for supper! Woo hoo!

Benedict Ambrose and I prepared for Lent on Pancake Tuesday by going to an Argentine restaurant for steaks and Malbec instead.  He had French fries with his; I had fried onions. We split some sort of Argentinian almond tart for pudding; dulche de leche featured. It was all glorious. We will return on Easter Monday.

The next day we went to Ash Wednesday Mass according the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite and afterwards broke our fast with cheese-and-onion pasties from the train station. There was a goodly quantity of diced potatoes mixed in with the cheese and onion, and it was positively the definition of British Lenten food: stodgy carbohydrates.

This should be the most humbling time of the year for Latin Rite Catholics. The Islamic Ramadan Fast is based on the Lenten Fast of 6th/7th century Christians, which shows how far we've fallen since then. The Greek Catholics--or at least their priests, monks and women, not to mention the Greek and every other kind of Orthodox--or at least their priests, monks and women--leave us Latins in the dust.  When they mock us, we should admit that they are just and weep tears of sorrow and repentance.

It was very embarrassing to see, on a TRAD Facebook page, Trad Catholics encouraging each other to eat great cuts of meat on the Thursday between Ash Wednesday and Friday.  Well, it was not so embarrassing that I wouldn't mention it on my blog. I write about  Catholics scandals all day long, so here's one about us Trads. No feast without a fast, people (unless you're under 18, pregnant, ill or have or had eating disorders).


  1. I remember you linking before to a summary of the Orthodox Lenten fasting on one of your old blogs. Do you remember that? Is it them who go practically vegan? Glad your bookreading list is back up, I always liked it and it was a reminder to get offline and read. Meant to say, all these goings on with LSN, I don't mean this in a bad way, but in my head you are now a serious investigative journalist whereas before you were a reporter. I'm really chuffed for you, I hope you feel chuffed too.


    1. Sinead, they DO. The strictest even give up olive oil. (I can see why--olive oil is a celebratory sort of thing in the Bible, isn't it?) The only kind of animal or animal product they can eat is squid and octopus: they aren't red-blooded.) Some don't even eat honey so yeah...totally vegan except for the unlucky squids & octopi.

      The Fr. R discovery was half luck and half determination to get the story right. Creepily, the phrase that was Fr R's downfall was "diabolical masterpiece." When he spoke, he added that the "diabolical masterpiece" was by Archbishop V. But actually it was his speech that was the "diabolical masterpiece"--although he may think my story was a new "diabolical masterpiece."

      Anyway, thank you. I would be more chuffed if the revelations hadn't frightened and hurt people and institutions in Canada I really care a lot about. Truth will out, I suppose--but I'm sorry about the innocent people and institutions tarred by the scandal.

  2. Well, we Orthodox have in mind the admonition to not look at another's plate as part of our lenten discipline...

    Here's a very long article about Orthodoxy and fasting:

    1. :-D I hope this admonition is made in Toronto, for it was in Toronto that I heard (and read in the papers) Greek Orthodox sneering at us wimpy Romans. But when I actually had a look at what the Greek Orthodox do, I was seriously impressed and thought, "It's a fair cop."

      The Orthogals are my spiritual blogdaughters. I don't know if they still read, but I adored them.

    2. They still read ;)

  3. Just a quick addition to your list of those who are allowed to not fast: breastfeeding mothers! For scrupulous folks, it can be hard to figure out how "much" breastfeeding you have to be doing in order to "count" as a nursing mother, but for sure if your baby is still relying on nursing as a major source of nutrition, you shouldn't fast.

  4. That is such a good link, thank you ??Orthogal!! ;-D

    I had no idea that Ramadan had Christian roots, the gorging during allowed times must be a later addition I hope...

    Please God those hurt by the damage to their beloved institution's reputations will use their ire to root out the rot and not self-flagellate. The priest was a Big Deal over there and above suspicion. You did good stuff for the Kingdom in not allowing that to blind you. Shivers at the phrase that outed him though.