St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fish Sticks Fridays or Any Days!

Photo courtesy of the National Cancer Institute
When I was a kid, Lent was one of my favorite seasons in the Church.  Of course, at that time, you had to abstain from meat during the entire season of Lent.  It took some creative cooking for that to happen.  I remember eating a lot of beans and cheese sandwiches for supper.  I attended Catholic school, so my mother never worried about what was served in the cafeteria as it would always be in compliance with the Church.

As a child, I celebrated the season of Lent with great joy!  I remember going to the grocery store with my mother as she struggled to balance the food budget, made a little easier without the absence of beef, chicken,or turkey.  She’d ask me what I wanted to eat on the weekends.  I’d always answer, “Fish sticks.”  So, by default, Friday became “Fish Stick Friday.”

Along with a helping of beans, salad, and bread, fish sticks became the go to meal for Fridays.  I remember watching my mother eat our meal on Fridays.  She ate the beads and salad and bread, but on more than one occasion, she would offer me what was left of her fish sticks.  I saw that  most of the fish sticks were left in her plate, but I happily chowed down on the left overs. 

How many ways could you eat fish sticks?  Well, it was challenging for her, but she found some ingenious ways to make them.

Fish Stick Casserole:: This is very similar to the Minnesota Dish called “Hot Dish,” but with one variation:: Fish Sticks. 

 Fish Stick Casserole

1 package of fish sticks chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can of cream of anything soup.
1 small Package of frozen vegetables
Some cheese for topping, usually, Velveeta,
And, if she could sneak them in,
onion rings in a can for the topping.

Bake at 350 for an hour.

Another favorite recipe was Fish Sticks and Tater Tots.  I loved those.  This is very similar to the Minnesota Tater Tot Hot Dish.

Fish Sticks and Tater Tots

1 package of fish sticks chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can of cream of anything soup
1 small package of frozen veggies
about 1/4 finely chopped onions, raw
Velveeta cheese.
Bake at 350 for an hour.

My favorite way to eat fish sticks was to have them heated and baked until done.  They were delicious, especially with tartar sauce.  Simple, but it did work. 

There were days, though, that my mother could not stomach another fish stick.  When she’d ask me what I wanted for supper, I’d say, “Fish Sticks.”  I think I saw her face turn a little green until she said, “How about if we go to the drive in and get a fish sandwich with green chile?”  Wow!  I was so thrilled!  We were going out to eat!  Fried fish on a bun!  I felt a little unfaithful to the fish sticks, but there was really nothing better than fried fish on a bun or tortilla with green chile!  I have to admit, it was a very nice treat.  I’d also get some french fries and a milk shake!  What a meal! 

Eventually, I grew up, married, and had children.  As they grew a little bit older and were aware of giving up meat on Fridays during Lent, I brought home some fish sticks!  I expected to see their little faces light up with joy when they were served!  Oh, the memories.

My daughter spoke first, “Mom, what are these?”
“Fish sticks,” I happily replied.
My son, “Mom, they don’t taste good.”
“Of course they do,” I said, “You just have to add a little sauce to them.”
“No, Mom, they taste awful,” my daughter said.
“Just eat one of them.  We don’t want to waste food,” I replied.
My husband sat quietly through this.
“I tried them,” said my son.  “I think I’ll throw up.  I can’t eat any more.”
My husband put down his napkin.  “Sweet heart,” he said to me.  “I have a great idea.  Let’s take the kids out for dinner.  They’ve been really good.”
Both of our children smiled and shook their heads in unison.
I was truly hurt.  “We’ll be wasting food,” I said sweetly.
My son said, “No we won’t.  Oliver ate mine.”
(Oliver was our basset hound.)
That dog had a smile on his face.  Our daughter gave Oliver her fish sticks.  That dog really did have a smile on his face.
“All right,” I said, “But these fish sticks are really good.”  Then I tasted one. 
“We better get going,” I said, “It’s Friday and the restaurants are busy!”
My husband chuckled.  The kids were cheering.  Oliver was smiling as I gave him the rest of the fish sticks.

I’m just glad I have my memories of Lent way back when.  Fish sticks weren't just good when I grew up.  They were delicious!

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