Party on Mardi

Monday afternoon, my telephone rang. It was my son Court FaceTiming me. He rarely does that, so I, of course, presumed his house had burned down. Lo, and behold, he was just calling to chat. When I answered the call, he immediately started laughing.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Just calling to say hi,” he said. “But I didn’t realize you were at a Mardi Gras party.”

I was, in fact, but had forgotten that I was wearing Mardi Gras beads in gold, purple. and green. I explained to him that we were at Bec’s house celebrating Mardi Gras a day early. Some people have those annoying things called J-O-B-S, and aren’t available to party hearty on a Tuesday.

You might recall that Bec holds a big Mardi Gras party every year on, well Mardi Gras. She invites the whole fam damily, and there are a slew of us when we gather. This year, for obvious reasons, we were pared down to Bill, Jen, and me, along with Bec and Eric’s peeps.

The smaller group meant that Erik wasn’t on call to make his traditional jambalaya and gumbo. We were sad about that, but our consolation prize was a shrimp boil. I call that a WIN. Her boil included fresh shrimp, smoked sausage, potatoes, onions, and corn on the cob. Lots of lemon and lots of Old Bay.

We love to gather together, and we will all be happy when we can get back to our larger groups. Generally, it’s a veritable feast — a true Mardi Gras meal. One year our niece Jessie even made beignets.

You might recall that every Mardi Gras Bec serves the traditional King Cake with the baby in it. Oh, not a real baby. That little plastic naked baby that, for whatever reason, we all fight over. In New Orleans, getting the piece with the baby means you host next year. We’ve never done that as we are all happy as clams (or oysters) to have Bec host the feast. It felt familiar, however, as we all ate the beautiful cake, and Carter and Mackenzie battled over the baby. This year Kenzie was the victor.

Josey was the bartender and her signature beverage was French 75s, a cocktail mix of gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar. The drink was made famous by Arnauds Restaurant in New Orleans. It was delicious, and dangerously strong. Bill and Erik joined the French 75 club…..

A bit of the afternoon involved Carter teaching his Aunt Jen how to master the Rubik’s Cube. He has literally memorized the algorithms necessary to solve the puzzle. His record last night was two minutes. He’s 13. Sigh…..

As usual, it was a lot of fun, and a wonderful way to celebrate before today’s Ash Wednesday solemnity.

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