37. Refreshment Sunday

Today, the fourth Sunday in Lent, is Laetare Sunday in the Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions, though probably not many of us notice. (Laetare is the first word of the introit for the day: "Rejoice, O Jerusalem!") In the UK, it's Mothering Sunday, and sometimes it's called Refreshment Sunday. Hey, it's halftime. Those onerous Lenten restrictions can be relaxed for the day. Take off that hair shirt! Eat some chocolate! Spend wildly on food!

The Neffs are going to take a whole Refreshment Week. We're going west to visit our descendants and celebrate our 41st anniversary, and we're going to pay no attention to our food bill. Well, knowing us, we'll notice. But it will all be off-record. The Lenten Experiment returns one week from today.

Meanwhile, a progress report. For the first 25 days of Lent, we have spent $241.92 on groceries. That's a per diem of $4.84 apiece. In addition, Mr Neff has had several business lunches and a couple of restaurant meals when he was out of town; his company paid, so that somewhat lowered our food bill. We have each bought ourselves one lunch out: Mr Neff's was frugal. We have had meals with friends several times, sometimes at their place and sometimes at ours.

Most of our food has been vegetarian, though not vegan. We've had fish several times and chicken once or twice. I've put sausage in the soup. We've drunk a little wine, but not much and mostly when visiting friends. I've baked a lot of bread.

And now I'm going downstairs to warm up the lentil soup, chop some cilantro, slice some bread, and pour some wine. Laetare!

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