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Easter is coming soon…

Easter is the sacred celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead

The Lenten Season

Lent is the forty-six day period just prior to Easter Sunday. It begins on Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”) is a celebration, sometimes called “Carnival,” practiced around the world, on the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday. It was designed as a way to “get it all out” before the sacrifices of Lent began. New Orleans is the focal point of Mardi Gras celebrations in the U.S.

The Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny is not a modern invention. The symbol originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess, Eastre, was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit.

The Germans brought the symbol of the Easter rabbit to America. It was widely ignored by other Christians until shortly after the Civil War. In fact, Easter itself was not widely celebrated in America until after that time.

The Easter Egg

As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, the Easter Egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs in the springtime is a custom that was centuries old when Easter was first celebrated by Christians.

From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of birth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or, if you were a peasant, colored brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of certain flowers.

Today, children hunt colored eggs and place them in Easter baskets along with the modern version of real Easter eggs — those made of plastic or chocolate candy

People around the world agree that at the end of a long Lenten fast, you need a fabulous feast to celebrate rebirth and renewal and I remember that when I was child my mom did not cook meet for 40 days at the house but fish. She had a very special recipe with Cod Fish that I enjoyed eating so much. Many of the foods that were given up for Lent–including eggs, cheese, meats and coffee–are now back on the menu

And now Whether you like ham, lamb, or other crowd-pleasers from delicious  tasty turkey dishes, plan out your Easter feast with one of these festive entrees.

Sauteed Cod with Lentils

Ingredients

For lentils

1 cup dried lentils (preferably French green lentils* often called lentilles du Puy); 7 ounces)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup finely chopped onion (1 large)

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus additional (optional) for drizzling

For fish

4 (5- to 6-ounces) pieces cod fillet (3/4 to 1 inch thick)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

Garnish: lemon wedges; chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

preparation

Prepare lentils: Cover lentils with cold water by 1 1/2 inches in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 12 to 25 minutes. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

While lentils are simmering, melt butter in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then stir in onion, garlic, and salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Stir in lentils and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten (1/4 to 1/2 cup) and cook until heated through.

Just before serving, stir in parsley, lemon juice, pepper, and 1 tablespoon oil.

Cook fish while onion finishes cooking: Pat fish dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat butter and oil in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté fish, turning over once, until browned and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Serve fish with lentils and drizzle with additional extra-virgin olive oil if desired.

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