A fishy Easter #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee…

Wasn’t that coffee tasting fun?

I know, you may not be such a Starbucks supporter, but these monthly events are now something my husband and I look forward to. So far, I’ve learned that I do not like Latin American coffees, and African ones are hit-or-miss. You heard me ask Barista Dean about the types of coffees I like, and it’s the Asia-Pacific ones that seem to offer the mouth feel that I like. The roundness, was that what he called it? You’d think me a coffee drinker fresh out of the womb, but it was an acquired taste, born from the sleepiness of 5:00am film crew calls. That’s a story for another time. I want to tell you about last night.

My husband and I went to a Lenten fish fry.

This was my first fish fry since my Pittsburgh childhood. Oh, memories.


Our current Peeps haul is larger than this…

Tomorrow is Easter. We’re already overflowing with Marshmallow Peeps, a childhood tradition and a joke between me and my husband from my 2009 article about the History of Marshmallow Peeps. I’m saving my one Cadbury Creme Egg for tomorrow, another family tradition.

And maybe I’m being extra-reflective because of the blogs I’ve been reading lately. Yes, I actually made time this week to read blogs, a lot of goal-setting between the ROW80 Round 1 wrap ups and A to Z Challenge Theme Reveals (you can currently find me at #493).  It’s the Throwback Thursday historic posts that have focused on family and memories in addition to goals. I’ve commented on these with my own family memories, which brings me back to fish frys.

Catholics typically don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent, the weeks that lead up to Easter. Regardless of my parents’ health, what state I lived in or current religious activity, my family always observed meatless Fridays during Lent. It’s ingrained in me, so when I found this fish fry back in February, I so wanted to go.

There are so many pleasant memories about that. Riding the PAT bus through the neighborhood to St. Benedict’s, a school and a monastery. As we walked up the hill, what felt like a mountain, I always wondered what made a nun want to be a nun. Neither Mom nor Dad could tell me, but Dad would regale stories of his schooldays that every year involved nuns and wooden rulers on finger knuckles. The brick building with the ramp I had to go up instead of the steps. The stark hall, dull with tan walls yet screamingly bright from industrial overhead lights. The hum of chatter, voices laughing, saying hellos. The fast-food smell of cooking oil. A buffet line, find your seats first. White cardboard plates heavy and soggy from the river of coleslaw juice running under fish pieces. Sitting with Mom, Dad and my aunt. It was a party, and since we didn’t eat dinner out often, this was an event.


Military rather than religious, it could almost be Pittsburgh

It took us until Good Friday to finally make it. We drove past a fish fry on the way to this fish fry. Who knew? At the VFW in Plymouth, we had the choice to sit in the Hall, which could’ve been my Pittsburgh memory plopped down in Michigan, or in the VFW Bar. 


Baked and fried fish options at the modern-day fish fry

My husband chose the Bar. For the ambiance, he said.

We sat at a table across the room from the pool tables, next to the jukebox. It was the 4th Friday so live music started at 7pm and the pitchers of beer came out.

This was not my childhood fish fry.  It was still a good one.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rhio
    Mar 27, 2016 @ 18:31:06

    That’s a lot of peeps! I’ve seen them posted so much today, I kind of wish they sold them here! I’ll have to make do with my boring British marshmallows :)
    Interestingly, in the UK, the fish on Friday’s thing is every Friday, they even observe it in schools (But it’s more of a tradition thing now). My daughters dinner always includes fish on Friday.


    • D.W. Hirsch
      Mar 27, 2016 @ 21:43:10

      Here in the US, fish-only Fridays is observed by the strictest or most traditional Catholics–especially old-school Italian/Polish. My friend’s family never had meat on Fridays, and I know at least her mom observed it until she died. My friend is more flexible, and may or may not observe it so strictly anymore.

      You can probably order Peeps online. The best way to eat them is not fresh-from-the-package but open stale and crunchy. Y’know, if you want a package, I’ve got plenty…. :)


      • Rhio
        Mar 28, 2016 @ 09:19:08

        Yeah it’s strange that the UK still observes it, considering our primary religion is Church of England, not Catholic. I live in Wales, in the past Welsh people were mostly pagan where I live. I can imagine some of Ireland being that way though with fish Fridays. I’m guessing it’s mostly just tradition now. Still very interesting. :D I’ll see if I can find some peeps online. I love marshmallows. They’re so good :) Also, I usually let the big ones we have go a bit stale and then dunk them in hot chocolate, they don’t instantly dissolve that way so they are super awesome :D


  2. bettylouise31
    Mar 27, 2016 @ 22:03:17

    I remember when you couldn’t buy a meal with meat on Friday. I remembered those toasted cheese sandwich that the college serve for Friday’s noon meal. It was a catholic school.


  3. Cyn K
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 14:48:47

    I haven’t been to a fish fry in a couple of years. My husband doesn’t eat fish, so that limits my opportunities.


  4. Nancy
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 15:13:09

    Your comment about the Peeps being better stale and crunchy made me laugh. That was the only way my dad would eat the and I thought it was just a weird quirk of his!
    We did the whole no-fish on Friday during Lent when I was growing up. My dad was a non-practicing Catholic and my mom was a bit of a religious mutt so I guess it was just out of habit. We never went to a fish fry but after reading about your, I wish we had.


    • D.W. Hirsch
      Mar 28, 2016 @ 21:15:01

      A lot of church organizations (Knights of Columbus) and VFW-type organizations do occasional year-round fish frys. Always a good thing to check out–even just to people watch. Yes, it takes awhile to get Peeps to that desired stale crunchiness, but it’s worth it! Your dad was a smart one!


  5. counterweightpress
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 22:13:39

    My stepfather’s first job was putting the eyes on peeps. After, he always refused to eat them, but we buy a bunch every year and think of him…it’s not Easter with out Peeps.


    • D.W. Hirsch
      Mar 31, 2016 @ 23:20:55

      What an intriguing job! From what I recall, it was all done by machine with a pop-pop-pop-pop-pop. *That* I remember. Long before Peeps were year-round, Peeps were an Easter basket tradition with me as well, green plastic grass sticking to the exposed marshmallow sides. Ah, memories!


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