Here are the pitfalls I survived in my quest to give up sweets for Lent:

-Someone making cupcakes at work

-Homemade beignets. Let me say that again: Homemade. Beignets.

-Spending time at my parents’ house, which has a bowl of candy around every corner

-Some jerk server at Souplantation dropping off two straight-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies at my table. Come on Souplantation, that’s cruel and unusual.

Two weeks, and I am still mostly sane.

Right now, when I am in need of something sweet, fruit is my only recourse. Which in the winter is a little sad, but now that we’re moving into spring, more fruit is starting to come alive.

You want to know something more sad than winter fruit selections?

My household contained just two strawberry lovers out of six potential strawberry lovers growing up.

My dad and I love them, but no one else does. I don’t know if I could even find four other people in a five-mile radius that dislike strawberries, but that’s just how my family rolls (it was a big deal at my house when my brother started putting cheese on his bean burritos. Eating strawberries would have been asking a bit too much).

Now that I’m all grown up (read: mature) and married, I can have them whenever I want! So there! And, my husband loves them as much as me. His lack of appreciation for avocados is questionable, but we definitely agree on strawberries.

In round two of our Sweet but not Sweets—my way of coping with giving up sweets for Lent—I had some strawberries, and went with it.

Strawberries aren’t really in season yet, but my husband and I couldn’t resist some at the Farmer’s Market last weekend. They weren’t super sweet on their own, so adding just a few touches of flavor made all the difference.

This recipe came from The Athlete’s Palate Cookbook though it’s hardly a recipe, and I hardly deserve to own a cookbook with such a title because the recipes are by chefs who are marathon runners, and I happen to have an embarrassingly bad relationship with running.

(Side lesson of the day: you have to continue to learn things about yourself. And you have to admit to yourself when you don’t love running, and that you’ll never love running. I did and I’ve never felt better. True story.)


Cut up a pint of strawberries, throw a teaspoon or so of balsamic vinegar on it with a teaspoon of sugar, and let sit for a few minutes so the flavors meld.

Sprinkle some feta cheese on there, and call it a day. A deliciously sweet and slightly salty day.