Only another week of it,  for those who observed the penance of fasting during Lent. What did you give up? Popular modern choices are the tv, chocolate and alcohol. If you think it’s bad enough to have survived without one of those for almost six weeks, you’ve no idea how hard it was for Irish families of times gone by. The last week of Lent in the run up to Easter was by far the hardest of the lot! For the ancestors of modern Ireland, Holy Week was a time of total denial – no nothing nice at all! The diet was reduced to tea with no milk, potatoes with no butter, dry bread and porridge made with water. A tough call indeed for even the most faithful parishioners. In later years, the Church eventually declared this extreme fasting should only  take place for two days of Holy Week  – Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Of course it has relaxed totally now for most families. But Good Friday was and still is associated with eating no meat. Fish has become the popular food of the day. We’ll be featuring some delicious fish ideas for Good Friday next week  – stay tuned! . We promise we’ll make your Good Friday Fish very tasty. If you’ve been able to see your Lenten abstinence through this far – you well deserve it. Bear in mind your long suffering relatives from the past and their Trojan efforts at fasting. They would think you were being let off very lightly indeed!