G is for (Mardi) Gras! Gras is French for “fat” & Mardi =”Tuesday” Growing up in Oregon, I never heard much about Mardi Gras apart from the notorious debauchery associated with the MTV (per)version. I’ve never even been to Louisiana! But with Center Sister still keen on all things French, and sufficient time in our schedule, we decided to read up on the roots of the celebration and adapt our own.
Center Sister mused aloud, “Mom, is Fat Tuesday the P-H kind of phat?”
Wouldn’t you know, it’s actually a quasi Christian feast? And I am always game for a good biblical feast! It’s observed the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season, which I also explained for the first time to the kids. (Our Christian denomination doesn’t generally participate in the Lenten tradition.)
I explained to the girls how fasting for Lent serves as a reminder to be in prayerful communion with God– and how in years past I fasted from television and chocolate. They missed the boat and suggested fasting from chewing their nails and/or reading. snort! After coaxing them further I brought sugar and electronics to the table, which they found neither reasonable nor prudent. We likely won’t fast for Lent this year, but it still made for good discussion.
I’m cooking up my go-to Jambalaya recipe (here, but add shrimp & sub corn starch for file powder) which is always a crowd-pleaser and merciful one-pot meal. We picked up a simple King Cake from the grocer (I’m not a baker)– adorned with the customary purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. What the kids don’t yet realize is that the cake itself is pregnant with a plastic baby Jesus. Tradition dictates that whomever is served the portion containing the infant God-in-a-bod is to bring the cake the following year, but I’m sure it’ll actually be me. 🙂
Do you celebrate Mardi Gras? Do you fast for Lent? What else am I missing, southern pals?