Today is Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday. The day before the start of the Lenten season for all you Catholic types. A day that is all about eating your face off, drinking like you’re a college freshman and possibly showing your tits on Bourbon street for cheap plastic beads.
Although I was raised mostly in Texas, I was born in Breaux Bridge, Lousiana. I’m a Cajun through and through. My family has lived there forever. I don’t know how far back we go, but my great grandmother was born there in 1900. So I’m mighty proud when my friends affectionately (I hope) call me Swamp Queen. It’s like a badge of honor.
I lived in Houston for 26 of my 37 years so I’m very much a Texas girl as well. However, Houston was like this weird hybrid of Cajun and Texan culture due to all the Louisiana transplants moving there for oil and gas careers. That’s how we got there, along with many people we met through out the years. Crawfish boils and gumbo are the norm, only with a Texas twang instead of broken French.
Even though we embraced Texas, we always made sure to bring our Cajun heritage over. One thing in particular my parents did was put together a Mardi Gras Krewe. I miss that. Every year we had a fall social to kick it off, then planned a themed costume ball and ended the year with a crawfish boil. We stopped doing it a few years ago when folks got busy with babies and grandbabies. But even without the Krewe of Rex Arborius around, Mardi Gras was everywhere in Houston. Galveston had parades. Restaurants and bars had huge celebrations. I used to order King Cakes from Keller’s Bakery in Lafayette for the office because they had overnight delivery service. (And OMG, everyone should taste one of these at least once in their life.) So even though our krewe was gone, I didn’t miss it too much.
But in San Antonio, there’s not much of that here. There’s the occasional restaurant, some of which are owned by ex-New Orleans folk uprooted by Katrina, but it’s not the same. My friend Nathan did bring back King Cake from New Orleans. That was a nice lil’ bit of lagniappe.
So, tonight, I made my own lil’ Mardi Gras in my house. I cooked myself an étouffée with the crawfish I’d been saving from my last trip to Breaux Bridge and washed it down with a vodka soda. It was great. I’m sure my husband is hoping for some of that sweet bead action, too. That part remains to be seen. I mean, this ain’t Bourban Street, ya know?
Laissez le bon temps roule, y’all! I hope everybody passed a good time!
PS – I did watch some TV. Cougartown was on and they were playing “Things Ellie Would Never Say” which is one of the greatest games, ever and Jules took an Ambien to sleep and ended doing some seriously weird shit. I belly-laughed. A lot.