Here in North Florida the Christmas season is now a memory and winter is loosening a hold that was never tight to begin with this year. As January slowly slips into February it occurred to me that the Lenten Season is soon to be upon us. But before we enter into the season of personal sacrifice that counts the days before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is Mardi Gras. One last celebration before we descend into seriousness.
Mardi Gras is on February 21st this year so it's just 28 days away! I had an idea that we will spend that time on some good Creole recipes to liven up your table for Mardi Gras. It is after all a celebration of gaiety and excess supposedly hosted by the patron god of excess himself, Bacchus. There are a number of recipes that are easily prepared, and capture well the essence of New Orleans cooking. I will also share with you an easy recipe for King Cake which is oh so much better than the dry cardboard cake sold in the grocers. You will just need to procure a small baby or a coin or bean.
The city of Jacksonville used to lay claim to being the New Orleans of the St. Johns River. While those days are long gone, there is a certain Cajun French feeling in the city both in food and the certain French presence in names. We celebrate Mardi Gras in our hearts here if not the streets, but I daresay that Mardi Gras is celebrated all over the US now.