Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras ~ Laissez les bons temps rouler

When I was in college, I foolishly wanted to experience New Orleans in the height of all her "glory" - Mardi Gras. It just seemed like one big party to me, & hey, that's what I went to college for, right? ......

yeah, anyway

I never made it to Mardi Gras, but I did make it to New Orleans about 11 years ago. It wasn't quite what I had in mind, but at the same time, it was everything I had imagined.

Bourbon Street itself is not only a little strange, it is a whole different world! People are cra - zy! Mimes perform on street corners & CHASE you if you take their picture. Young kids tap dance with bottle caps on their shoes as a distraction so their partners can pick your pockets. Naked women hang out of windows. And old men in suits & fuzzy bedroom shoes interview invisible people in McDonalds at 3am.

There is so much history & legend in New Orleans. It would be interesting to go back today & actually appreciate that history. BUT I REALLY do not want my kids anywhere near that insanity! So we will just read about it.

Mardi Gras is the celebratory season before Lent that culminates with Fat Tuesday. It has pagan roots that evolved into Christian beliefs. The idea of Mardi Gras is to prepare oneself for the fasting & self denial that occurs during Lent. In recent years, the carnival celebrations exploded into debauchery.

So for the fun of it, I cooked Jambalaya & a King Cake. As usual, I tweaked my recipe, but you can find the original here. I combined & rolled out 2 cans of cinnamon sweet rolls & shaped into a ring. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Mix the included icing with 1/2 jar of Vanilla frosting & 1/4 c. of milk. Separate into 3 bowls so you can add food coloring (purple represents justice, green is for faith, & gold is for power). Then drizzle icing over the warm cake. Decorate accordingly. (I didn't feel the need to hide the baby.)
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