(Faux) Mardi Gras Party, 2008

Party Pictures We had our second annual Mardi Gras Party last night, and a good time was had, me thinks. Annette and I have done a fall party of Indian food for several years now, and we decided last year that February was a good time to have another party, especially since it is cold and dreary and kind of the low-point of the school year. So Mardi Gras it was then, and Mardi Gras it was this year.

Well, sort of. Purists will note that “Fat Tuesday” was last week, so technically, we should have had this party last weekend. But scheduling conflicts and all the rest postponed it. No one seemed to mind.

The pre-party planning/work started with a bit of a bang, and I mean that in a bad way. I slipped and fell about halfway down the basement stairs and I managed to land quite hard on my ass in the process. I don’t think I broke anything too significant, but I had the wind knocked out of me pretty good and I was kind of dazed for about the first hour or so of the festivities. This morning, I’m not so much hung over as I am sore. Sitting down is a delicate matter.

I uploaded a boatload of pictures to my flickr account here, or, if you’re a facebook kinda person, you can go see them over there, too. I didn’t actually take any of these pictures– Becky S. started playing with the camera, and, 70 some odd pictures later, I had a bunch to share. Note how many of these pictures Andre manages to get in. My favorite is this one where he must be going for the cover of Teen Beat.

Of course it was great to have so many good friends, work colleagues, neighbor-types, kids, etc. But what I like most about Mardi Gras is the food, and we had WAY WAY too much of it. Here’s what we had, along with my own biased reviews:

  • Muffuletta sandwiches. I vaguely followed this recipe on Food Network. They were pretty good, though I think they could have been a little juicier/oilier.
  • Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice. Mine was based on this one, without the meat of course. They disappeared, so I guess that’s a good sign, but personally, I kind of thought that they needed something… like sausage….
  • Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. With a kind of lame roux, lots of okra, etc., and based on a Weight Watchers recipe, so sort of healthy. I’m planning on it for dinner tonight.
  • Shrimp Jambalaya. Something of a disappointment because the rice never really cooked to my liking. I tried a recipe from a Cajun cookbook that said to cook it in the oven instead of on the stovetop, and I think that was where I went wrong. Some people liked the slightly crunchy rice though, and it did make for excellent left-overs for lunch today.
  • Annette’s Mom’s Famous Jalapeno poppers, which are halved jalapenos stuffed with breakfast sausage, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese, and then baked for about 20 minutes. Excellent as always, though we made way too many.
  • Shrimp cakes, which is a Emeril Lagasse recipe that features an amazing cream sauce. I thought these might have been a mistake when we were frantically getting stuff ready at the last minute because they are a little on the complicated side of things. But man, are they good.
  • King Cake, which is more of a sweet bread/coffee cake than it is a “cake” cake. There are a bunch of different recipes out there, but I followed this one and it turned out pretty darn good.
  • And assorted fruits, veggies, and fine cheeses, and some goodies just for the kids.

So by next year, maybe we’ll figure out how to streamline this a bit and how to gauge how much food we actually need. And now, I’m going to go wash some more dishes.

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