This may appear to be a somewhat religious column this week, since I am referring to Lent — that season of the church year beginning on Ash Wednesday, when Catholics go to church to receive ashes on their foreheads. At least once a year, everyone knows who we are.

Now, as a child I was told you could not touch the ashes, so your forehead itched for the day. Every once in a while an errant ash would fall on your nose; another itch not to be scratched.

The ashes came from palms leaves, which were left over from the previous year’s Palm Sunday and ceremoniously burned to be turned into ashes. We always forget to bring our old palms to church and wind up burning them ourselves, which I hope is not sacrilegious.

Lent is also the time when we are told what days we Catholics can and can’t eat meat. Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and Fridays during Lent, the very days you seem to get a taste for meat, whether it’s a big steak, a juicy hamburger or even a hot dog.

In our house I hear a few complaints, and since there are only the two of us you can figure out who the complainant is.

But fish and meatless meals are good for you and not a punishment. My mother could do wonders with a can of tuna fish. She could also make a frittata that was not only great but also cleaned out the vegetable bin.

And for those of us who choose to take the easy way out, there is the fish fry, of which there are many in the area. Probably the busiest in the area is at the North Riverside VFW on Fridays, where Rose is your cook with an expanded fish menu.

Area restaurants, including Off Broadway Pub and Grand Tavern in Brookfield and Mollie’s (fish and chips) in Riverside are just a few of the local establishments that will keep your house from smelling fishy and your temper even with their fish menus.

Well, now I have a taste for fish, and it is not even Friday. Here I come Friday fish fry!