Carnival is the time of festive celebrations just before the start of Lent, which in turn is the period of fasting and penitence preceding Easter. Although Carnival is tied to the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church and used to be enjoyed in Catholic countries only, it is now celebrated all over the world…BUT… nobody does it better than New Orleans!! (even though we do get a bit of competition form Rio).
Huge, lavishly decorated floats start rolling down the New Orleans streets more than two weeks before Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). Parades, dress up parties, fancy balls, King Cake eating contests, costume competitions, and the jostles to catch Mardi Gras beads and doubloons get more intense as Lent and the need for sobriety approaches.
For au pairs in our cluster the carnival season is the time to get their purple, green, and gold outfits ready and join their host families in a quintessentially New Orleans experience.
Have fun and SEE YOU AT THE PARADES!!
For parade schedule please consult http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/schedule.html
P.S. Although gluttony is the order of the day during Carnival, for the health-minded a delicious and nutritious Mardi Gras Coleslaw recipe follows. Have it with your King Cake, lol.
MARDI GRAS SLAW
1/3 c frozen orange juice concentrate – thawed
1/3 c unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 c canola oil
1 – 8 oz bag green cabbage
1- 8 oz bag purple cabbage
4 ears fresh corn or 2 cans niblet corn
2 med carrots peeled, grated
6 med green onions
1/2 c fresh cilantro chopped
Whisk orange juice concentrate, rice vinegar, and canola oil in small
bowl, season salt pepper – do ahead, cover refrigerate.
Combine slaw, corn, carrots, green onion, and cilantro in large bowl,
toss with dressing, coat well, let stand for 15 min for flavors to
blend. Toss again.