Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guest Blog Spot - Mardi Gras!!

Todays Guest Blog Spot is from delayne over at Marfaire's Maily!! delayne a great writer, blogger and artist not to mention she is also my MOM!!  : )

ENJOY this great post on how to do Mardi Gras RIGHT!

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Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

As much as I'm sure we'd all like to, it's a little last-minute to do the celebration up BIG. And by 'big' I mean taking time off and booking a flight to the Big Easy for some dancin' in the streets, or even as in planning some fancy at-home stuff. So the next best thing would be to whoop it up right where you're standing. So let's get to it, shall we?

First things first: Get a mask! Basic ones that you can wear as-is or add your own excessive embellishments to can be found at local places like Party City (http://www.partycity.com/) but why not just make your own? This link has a pattern and additional ideas: http://www.makingfriends.com/mardi_mask.htm. Print the pattern onto some cardstock, decorate with markers, add feathers/beads/pipe cleaners/goo-gahs/what-have-you, and either staple it to a pencil or dowel or punch holes in the sides and attach ribbons for tying. The end! So easy you can have your kids making these while you're preparing the jambalaya.

Next up: Music! Think ragtime and classic New Orleans jazz. The folks at Zatarains (http://www.zatarains.com/have some awesome music downloads that are FREE and what's not to like about that?? If nothing else, grab that kazoo and hum a few rounds of 'When The Saints Go Marchin' In' or 'Bill Bailey'. (What? Y'got no kazoo? Grab a bit of waxed paper and fold it over a hair comb. Now put the comb to your lips and hum! Totally old school, but effective nonetheless.)


And noisemakers, don't forget! I personally like those party whistle things that uncoil themselves when you blow them, but if you don't have one handy even a pie pan and a spoon work well, too. And then there's clapping. Don't forget clapping.

Dinner could be Zatarains' easy-peasy Jambalaya. ('Easy-peasy' is not part of the label. I believe it's just 'Jambalaya.') Add some slices of spicy sausage and voila! Or check out that handy site again for other New Orleansian recipes: (http://www.zatarains.com/ in case you don't feel like moving your eyes).

And what Mardi Gras hoo-ha would be complete without alcohol?? One site (http://www.associatedcontent.com) shares this recipe:

The Mardi Gras Voodoo Queen Long Island Iced Tea

2oz of Vodka
2oz of Gin
2oz of Rum
2oz of Tequila
1oz of lemon juice
1oz of Blue Curacao

Stir all of the ingredients with moderate ice in a highball glass. Serve and enjoy!
Holy crap! Well, good luck with that. Here's a simpler one that I've served my own self and not had any complaints. (And it's one I suspect will be easier on the pocketbook as well as less headache inducing):

The Mardi Gras Flasher

2 oz dark rum
6 oz ginger ale
1 tsp grenadine syrup
Stir together in a highball glass with/without ice. Serve.
Not into alcohol? Drop a maraschino cherry into a champagne flute, pour in some ginger ale, then add a gentle frizzle of grenadine. Very pretty!


For dessert, King Cake is WAY traditional. And way expensive. But you can make a simple one thusly:

Bake a batch of vanilla cupcakes, ice them with vanilla or cream cheese frosting, and sprinkle* a third of the cupcakes with purple sprinkles, another third with green sprinkles, and the final third with yellow sprinkles.

An even simpler recipe: Make a can of prepared cinnamon rolls according to the package instructions, only place them in a round cake pan prior to baking. Frost as usual, then sprinkle* 1/3 of the finished product with purple sprinkles, blah blah, like I told y'all earlier.

Not simple enough for you? Buy a can of vanilla or cream cheese frosting and a couple dozen doughnut holes (of the cinnamon-flavored, cake-like variety), enough to fill a round cake pan. Do just that (fill the pan with them) and frost. Then sprinkle* (see above).

*If you don't have colored sprinkles or don't want to take the time to buy some, you can make your own. Just put about an 1/8-cup of granulated sugar into each of three glass bowls, then tint each with a smidgen of food color. Purple, green, and yellow are the traditional colors (if you haven't guessed that by now with me beating you over the head with it…).

The big special thing about King Cake is that there's often a trinket hidden in it, usually a small plastic baby (sometimes said to represent Baby Jesus), and the lucky soul who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations, such as buying the cake for the next celebration. If you want to do likewise but haven't a little plastic baby lying around (and who does??), tuck a good-sized uncooked bean into one of the cupcakes or cinnamon rolls (after baking and before frosting). Just make sure your guests know you've done this ahead of time so that they're not surprised (or otherwise; you can guess the implications) when they come across it after having taken a big old bite….

MOVIES! Want something fun to watch while you're shovelin' in the red beans 'n rice? Here are some suggestions:

'The Big Easy' is the first film that comes to mind, but only because I'm lazy. Give me a second. OK. Although I've never seen it (so shoot me!), 'Easy Rider' has been suggested as it involves two bikers setting out to find freedom and arriving just in time for someMardi Gras celebration surrealness. (Sounds surreal.) You could also try Disney's 'The Princess and the Frog' since it's 'a fairy tale set in Jazz Age-era New Orleans' and because you might have kids who would otherwise be bored and/or traumatized by any of the aforementioned 'Easy' movies….

So there -- you're good to go! And no, I didn't forget about the beads. If you haven't left Party City yet, buy a hank of them why not? The expensive metallic ones are about a quarter apiece, but dig around. I've found others for less. Trade 'em with your guests! And if it's just you at this little soiree, hang the whole bunch off the arm of your chair, then add a string 'round your neck every time a television personality says the word 'whatever' or whatever.
In any event, have fun! That's what it's all about.


(Delayne is a self-taught artist from Minnesota who likes to think she's funny sometimes. She's also the owner of Mayfaire. Her website (www.mayfaireart.com) and her studio blog (http://mayfaireart.blogspot.com) contain art, news, works in progress, and assorted random musings. And she wants to take this opportunity to send big thankyous and warm motherly hugs to Sarah Butcher for inviting her to write a guest spot on this delightful blog. <3)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Sarah, for asking me to post today. It was fun! :)


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