Erica is the Local Perspectives editor for She is the mama of 2 boys and a punk dog and the wife to her best friend. Work experiences include writing, editing, teaching, project management, and designing PEZ dispensers. She likes thunderstorms, old barns, and driving at night in the summertime, and dislikes arrogance and pickles.

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Mardi Gras :: Fat Tuesday

If you don’t know, Fat Tuesday is this week. You know, on TUESDAY.  My tip-off for the holiday comes because my sister-in-law lives near New Orleans, and she sends a giant box of beads to us every year — from the family-friendly Mardi Gras parades she attends. Yes, there are clean Mardi Gras parades!

Fat Tuesday caps off Mardi Gras (also called Carnival, Fastnacht, Fettisdagen and other names, in other countries), and like most holidays, is religious in origin.  It is the last day to enjoy rich food, celebrate and generally participate in revelry before the next day (Ash Wednesday), which begins the Lenten season.  You can read more about it on the Wiki Fat Tuesday page, but I’m concentrating on family fun here.  For those of us who don’t live in Louisiana, Mardi Gras is mostly a home-spun celebration.

Beignets for Breakfast

Conjure up the powdered-sugar wonder of Cafe du Monde by making your own beignets, fluffy crullers with powdered sugar.  Heed the advice (and recipe) of Leite’s Culinaria and don’t wear black while eating these goodies.  For added authenticity, drink a cup of steaming chicory coffee with your beignets.

Street Parade

Gather together beads (or necklaces or ribbons) and make some masks. Grab all the kids’ instruments (or whatever will pass for a drum or rattle at your house) and have a parade.  Skip to My Lou has a simple, printable mask template.


Dinner, Drinks & King Cake

Jambalaya – from New Orleans Cuisine

Hurricane Cocktail – from Tablespoon (recipe by Michelle P.)

King Cake – from Andrea Meyers

Tradition stipulates that a plastic baby or fava bean be hidden inside the King Cake.   The person who gets the trinket hosts the next King Cake party!


Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Let the good times roll!


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Comments (4)

  1. Shannon Nelson 02/16/2012 at 3:56 pm

    LOL! I LOVE the last picture! Especially the look on his face!

  2. Carina Wytiaz 02/16/2012 at 1:03 pm

    Oh! I am so excited! Like I need an excuse to make beignets…

  3. Amy Allen Johnson 02/16/2012 at 11:47 am

    Thanks for the great ideas! Reminds me of hs when we tricked our french teacher into letting us bring cake daily in for 6 weeks straight! SOMEONE kept getting the plastic baby and the dime!

    • Erica Fehrman 02/16/2012 at 6:41 pm

      Wait, what’s the part with the dime about? I only knew about the baby. Fill me in, Frenchie friend!