You may have enjoyed Easter Sunday surrounded by Lindt bunnies and a sense of excitement that you could get drunk later that day and not have to be at work the next, I woke up on Easter Sunday knowing that I could eat ketchup, brown sauce, BBQ sauce and mayonnaise. It was a very special time.
If you follow me elsewhere then you will no doubt know that I pledged to give up sauce for Lent, but I can’t actually believe I did it. I’ve never successfully ‘completed’ Lent (not entirely sure it’s appropriate to imply Lent is like a level in Candy Crush which MUST BE BEATEN) but this year I did it. Bloody hell, I ACTUALLY DID IT.
Here were my main findings…
– I never stopped thinking about sauce. Talking about sauce came a close second. (Apologies, loved ones).
– Lent is really long. London Fashion Week was ages aaaaaaaago, it was Lent then.
– I would normally eat a lot of sauce.
– I was convinced I saw more ads for sauces than ever before. I had to stop listening to Kiss because they were running a competition which was literally a ‘red sauce vs brown sauce’ mega vote where you could win a trip to Ibiza to eat sauce slathered bacon butties. I am convinced this campaign was created purely to spite me.
– Literally nobody I knew had any faith in me that I’d do it.
– Worrying that you’ll be struck down by a higher force if you even consider cheating is a great motivator to stick with it.
– I made a lot of my meal choices based around not being able to have sauce….and realised that for a lot of foods, sauce is the real winning element.
– Fry-up type breakfasts were the hardest. They’re basically pointless without ketchup and brown sauce.
– I can’t speak for beef burgers, but veggie burgers without sauce are really really sad. A bean burger or faux meat patty on a dry bun is just a crying shame. There’s a reason that burgers generally come with ketchup and mayo on the bun by default.
I mean, just LOOK at how sad and dry this looks because I asked them to serve it with no sauces. I tried to ‘make a sauce’ by adding a fried egg but I forgot that they’re scared of undercooked eggs in America so the yolk was near enough hard. Waaaaaaaah.
– You can’t just switch all sauces to hot sauces and not expect to get knife like acid pains in your stomach. I eat a lot of hot sauce and jalapenos usually, but in the first two days of Lent I had an entire bottle of Cholula and jar of jalapenos on my own. I got really bad acid reflux for days afterwards. At first I had no idea why I had such a vomit tasting throat and then I asked a doctor if it could be all the hot sauce I’d near enough drank…the answer was OBVIOUSLY YES.
– I got genuinely ragey when watching other people eat ketchup.
– Being in France without sauce made me sad. Being in America without sauce was just devastating.
– I don’t know if I’ll eat as much sauce in the future….
This last point was the shocker and only really came about towards the end of Lent, I guess 46 days is long enough to make you re-adjust somewhat. I’d learnt some pretty nifty tricks by this point too, like drenching chips in vinegar (something I’d never normally do) helps get some of that vinegary kick which I’d usually get from ketchup…or making fresh tomato salads helped as a substitute too.
But let’s be clear for a second, as soon as I could ‘break’ Lent on Easter Sunday I was stupidly excited. We went to The Stockyard in Hale, where I had ketchup and mayonnaise (lots of).
Yeah I really should have added mayo and ketchup before I took this shot to ‘illustrate’ my point better here. Trust me though, it happened. AND IT HAPPENED HARD.
It was a good meal, but it wasn’t the mind-blowing re-introduction to ketchup I was expecting. A lot of people had ‘warned me’ (hah!) that the first time you have whatever it is you’ve given up after Lent never quite lives up to expectations. The ketchup tasted really strong (like, made me cough strong) and I ate so much mayonnaise that I basically lived in a guilt cloud for the rest of the afternoon.
Had I turned a corner?
When we had breakfast on Easter Monday we had scrambled eggs on bagels with a tomato salad (chopped pomodorino toms, red onion, balsamic glaze) and avocado rather than the usual lashings of ketchup and HP. I could have had sauce by this point but didn’t, like WOAH.
I had BBQ sauce for the first time last night (will be blogging about our trip to Hache imminently!) but am yet to have brown sauce again. I am excited for that. If brown sauce lets me down I will have to re-assess everything.
There’s so much sugar in sauces (and let’s just gloss over the fat content of mayo, *ahem*) that I’m obviously better off without them, but they’re pretty special. I’m hoping I’ll eat less sauce in the future (i.e a normal amount like fellow normal humans, not mountains of it on every plate) but once BBQ season comes along I suspect I’ll be back to my old ways. We shall see.