The holiday season is one of the most difficult times to maintain Fast in a strict Orthodox household or just an Orthodox household. If one remains too attached to the secular world, this difficulty is immensely relateable or barely acknowledged or we just make excuses for not going to church on days other than Sunday, not studying the lives of the saints or bothering to read and discuss the Gospel lesson over Sunday supper with our family.
Many families today are made up of mixed religious or non religious households. They say they never have the time but if we calculated how much time we spend responding to comments on Instagram and IMing our friends, acquaintances and “friends” on Facebook messenger, we will be in for a shock. They are interested in information but only if it comes from social media.
Social media breeds desire, envy and jealousy even if we really don’t seem like the type. Did you know that envy isn’t about materialism but it can make you feel inferior towards others in your social circle or who has common interests than you? All God asks for us is our best everyday, but we get on Instagram and suddenly giving our kid a pack of unwrapped brand new markers and chocolate coins in his sneakers laid out for St. Nicholas doesn’t seem quite good enough compared to a tech savvy blogging Orthodox mom who just posted a picture of perfectly wrapped presents by her children’s shoes put out by Jolly old St Nicholas.
Before you begin to wonder if St Nick believes in nepotism (Just. Stop now, please.), it’s not your business to wonder nor is it a competition. Remember the very core essence of such social media tools as Instagram are to serve as providing information and even inspiration. It should also help the user learn basic camera functions so they can take better pictures. It’s kind of like Pinterest but with self taken photography of projects you’re working on, your blog or projects you’re undertaking with your kids. Even that can be taken out of hand which is why we need a break once in awhile and it’s not uncommon and even encouraging to step back from it throughout fasting periods.
…And there’s this pumpkin ravioli in sage butter sauce which competes with no one. It sounds fancy, Italian and something that is worthy of a closeup for the Insta (social media speak for Instagram) but you worry about message it up at home, how long the clean up will take…and just end up ordering from your trusty Indian takeaway, putting on pajamas and watching Netflix…not looking at your feed for the rest of the night.
And perhaps that’s a good thing. We need to exercise restraint and spend more time face to face together over a good meal. Take refuge in this easy shitaki pumpkin ravioli that is under $10.
Mushroom Pumpkin Ravioli (Vegetarian, Low Carb)
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
16 dried mushrooms (I use shitaki.)
1 and 1/2 cups and pumpkin filling
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of mirin sauce
1 tsp of fresh sage
3/4 cup of Parmesan reggiano
1/2 cup dried Ezekiel bread crumbs
Sea salt and pepper
Won ton wrappers
1. Melt butter and coconut oil in hot pan. Add in mushrooms, garlic and onions and cook on low medium heat until mushrooms begin to darken. Turn off heat and set aside. Allow to cool.
2. Blend up pumpkin, cooled mushroom mixture, cheese, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper together.
3. Dip finger in cool water and run along edges of 8 wonton wrappers. Drop by teaspoons of pumpkin mushroom mixture onto wonton wrappers. Fold up.
4. Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Drop won tons in and remove after they float up to top, one by one. Transfer floating wontons to another hot pan of melted vegan butter (about 8 tbsp of butter) and 3 tsps of sage and cook for about three minutes before transferring to a plate. Do not brown butter. Drizzle butter on top and sprinkle with Parmesan reggiano cheese.