Today we celebrate Mardi Gras, and tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, is the beginning of Lent, the 40 days that lead up to the Catholic Church’s Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, followed of course by Easter Sunday. Practicing Catholics will be observing the dietary changes that Lent requires. This means not eating meat on the six Fridays between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Many Catholics also refrain from eating sweets during Lent as an extra penance or sacrifice. Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, is recognized as the last day one can eat rich foods before the forty day fast. Many people celebrate Mardi Gra with a special meal replete with indulgent goodies, including the things they will try to do without during Lent. You don't have to go to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras because the “A Taste of Home” Web site, see below, has several recipes that can be used to plan a Mardi Gras dinner, including New Orleans Beignets, Mardi Gras cupcakes, Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, and Bayou Burgers. If Mardi Gras isn't marked with a special menu in your house, maybe this is the year to start a new tradition.
photo credit: Snappygoat.com