When we were kids, giving up something for Lent was oft-discussed, but rarely implemented. Occasionally, you would give up chocolate for almost a week. I stress almost.

But meat was a different matter. As Catholics, there was no question. You never ate it on Friday. Any Friday. Lent or not. This led to a lot of weird casseroles my mom would come up with.

Don't misunderstand me, my Mom was an awesome baker. Bread, cakes, pies, sweet rolls, and cookies, rarely turned out as anything less than superb. But her casseroles- -how can I put this gently? Quite often, they left something to be desired.

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One of her Lenten and Friday go-tos was something called Salmon Turbot, or what we called Salmon "Turburt" from the time we were little, until I discovered as an adult that it was actually- -Tur-bot, (mhmm- - pronounced butt). And the recipe came from my grandmother, which probably explains a lot.

It is really a very simple recipe:

  • 1 large can of salmon (yup, the kind with bones & all- -and before you ask...yes I like the bones).
  • About 2 cups of white or Bechamel sauce (butter, flour, milk, cream, or half & half)
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Saltine crackers
  • Salt & pepper (Go easy on the salt, my Mom would forget that she was using salted crackers and salmon. Sometimes, the sodium content of the casserole was unnerving!)
  • Break up the salmon, mix with the onion and crumble the crackers. Then put a layer of white sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish, followed by some of the salmon mixture, then crackers. Repeat until everything is used, ending with a drizzle of white sauce over your last layer of crackers.
  • Bake at 350° degrees until crackers are toasty brown.

I think the last time I partook of this confluence of fish and crackers, was probably in high school. And that was a while ago. A long while ago.

I hope you have a blessed and Turbot-free Lenten season!

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