Two years ago, I experienced my first real life New Orleans Mardi Gras. I couldn’t have been happier. I loved the whole spirit of an entire city celebrating. The parades were crazy, constant and so much fun. You would have thought I won a million dollars at my excitement of getting tossed a cheap colorful beaded necklace from a float. I wore every one of them with pride. We bought masks and wigs and really had a fabulous time.
I had been to New Orleans before several years prior but this felt like my real introduction to the city. The music was amazing. Everywhere I turned someone was playing an instrument and most of the time, they were really good and really passionate about playing. It was so great to watch and experience.
Now, about the food…I was a vegetarian when we went (I am no longer). BUT, I knew how important food is there and how much it is a part of the experience, so I gave myself a free food pass. Eat, drink and be merry was the goal. I did a bit of all three. How did I live this long without shrimp and grits? Etoufee? KING CAKE? I mean come on!! Growing up in Southern California did not introduce me to these amazing dishes. But, I brought them home with me. In fact, we all had a NOLA inspired meal at my sisters the other day (pic below). This year we will be in Los Angeles but you can bet I will be making some of the amazing foods from New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras.