Lent means no meat on Friday, because… well, because God said so, that’s why.
Many AmericansÂ abstain and indulge at the same time, taking in the great tradition of the Friday fish fry. In a lot ofÂ communities, it’s the local fire department that serves up the fish dinners. When I was a member at Elsmere Fire Company, the Lenten fish frys were a big deal: hundreds of community members who would show up and it’s an important fund raiser for the fire company.
The menu varies from place to place, but you’ll always find cole slaw and fries,Â and at some,Â baked potatoes or clam rolls are offered.Â I’m biased, but for me, Elsmere has the best fish around. New Salem Fire Department, in the shadow of Thacher Park has great pies for desertÂ for those withÂ a sweet tooth — assuming you haven’t given it up for Lent! At my firehouse, we also served chicken nuggets, known in some circles as the “sinner dinner.”
Fish frys, church suppers and the likeÂ are part of the old-fashioned glue that holds us allÂ together. It’s easy to find yourself a roast beef dinner or all-you-can-eat breakfast. You don’t need to be a regular; everyone is welcomed and it’s a great wayÂ to get a taste of a community. Literally.