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February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras Party

Mardi Gras literally means Fat Tuesday! The day New Orleans loves to celebrate. Not just New Orleans but people all over the world celebrate. It's our last big hoopla before Ash Wednesday arrives and brings with it periods of fasting, sacrifice, and contemplation. That's for tomorrow though because today we eat the richest, fattiest foods we can find and celebrate in many ways we never would the rest of the year.

Two years in a row, I went to Bay St. Louis, MS to do some hurricane relief work after Katrina. The second time I went, we took one night off and went over to "The Big Easy" to visit and have dinner on Bourbon Street. It wasn't during Mardi Gras, but there were still performers all over the place and people were crowding the balconies, always ready to throw beads if they were "earned," and there were bands performing all over the place that were incredible. I especially loved the guys who were clapping and playing rhythms on plastic buckets.

I can't say that I really understand the draw to Mardi Gras. I'm sure it's fun to celebrate, but it seems so unnecessary. Then again, I work in Accounts Payable, where we also don't need a reason to celebrate and eat! Today was no exception. We like to eat food. There's no getting around that. So...we take pretty much any reason we can find to eat. "Oh, it's the third Wednesday of the month? It's the first Friday since it snowed? LET'S EAT!"

Most of the food smelled really good, but after taking a trip down the hall, I noticed the odor getting worse the closer I got back to my office. It brought back some of the less exciting memories of my childhood. There were multiple times walking up to my house after school and the closer I get to the house the worse the smell got. Those were the times that my mom and Granny were cooking "greens." The smell permeated the house and you couldn't escape it. Someone in the office thought it would be a good idea to make that for our party. They were wrong.