27 days until Mardi Gras.
As a child, I thought the time between New Year's Day and Mardi Gras took forever. Now it seems that Mardi Gras gets a move on right quick.
But back then King Cake wasn't available until January 6th (Twelfth Night). Now it's year round. The parade schedules also seem to start earlier and earlier.
So how 'bout we kick it off nice and easy.
With a party punch that's good for adults and kids alike.
Gerry's Favorite Punch comes from The Husband's aunt and has been made for family gatherings since he was a child.
It's sweet. Yet tart. Refreshing. Yet leaves you thirsty for more.
It's a mystery.
Kinda like who's behind these masks.
Let's also do things nice and slow with a traditional New Orleans second line.
A second line is a jazz parade, most often a street parade, led by a jazz band. Participants fall in line behind the band, and the procession winds its way around the streets of New Orleans--or through the VFW hall in the case of weddings. Second line members follow the band, dancing and waving decorated umbrellas or handkerchiefs to the beat of the music.
According to Richard Brent Turner, in his book Jazz Religion: the Second Line and Black New Orleans,
"For some a second line is 'nothin' but a party goin' on;' for others, however, it is a profound expression of New Orleanians' African Diaspora past, an experience of communal meditation or even trance that recreated the historic nineteenth-century performances in Congo Square*, where Black New Orleanians had reinterpreted the sacred music and dances of Vodou in weekly public African festivals every Sunday until the Civil War."
Turner, Richard Brent. Jazz Religion: the Second Line and Black New Orleans. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.
*Congo Square, in Louis Armstrong Park just outside the French Quarter, was a meeting place for slaves. Here they performed traditional and religious ceremonies, music, drumming, and dances.
Today, second lines are part of jazz funeral processions, festivals, Mardi Gras Indian performances, and often spontaneously snake their way through wedding reception halls.
Grab an umbrella. Or a handkerchief. And get your Gras on.
Voodoo Bourbon Slush
Red Bean Gumbo
Cream Cheese Filled King Cake
Blueberry King Cake
Info on Mardi Gras:
King Cake & Mardi Gras origins
Courir de Mardi Gras (Cajun Mardi Gras)
Gerry's Favorite Punch
1 quart cranberry juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
sugar to taste
2 quarts ginger ale
Combine the juices. Sweeten to taste with sugar. Chill for at least an hour. Add the ginger ale just before serving.
Looking for See Ya In the Gumbo? Link up here!