Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mardi Gras and Lent PA Style

I think the last time I made lenten resolutions was in college. The lent a year or so before my dad passed away, I quit smoking and drinking. Then I made a series of boneheaded decisions, one of which got me shipped to San Diego to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. I didn't stay long there. I don't know how many of these things are related to those particular resolutions, but I haven't made many since.

Nevertheless, I do tend to give up eating meat on Fridays even though I don't go to church much anymore. Something about lent makes me feel somber and I think I have to make this small sacrifice. I assure you that it is much more difficult to give up meat in Pennsylvania than in Louisiana. But I intend to do it because it always makes me feel like I am doing something right for a change. One of my memories about lent is the time I went to the Immaculate Conception church on Ash Wednesday for ashes. On my way home, I stopped at the little neighborhood marked on Prytania for some French bread and catfish. I made catfish po-boys from scratch. That just doesn't work up here. (partly because they tend to fry catfish with flour instead of cornmeal.)

Last night, my wife and neighbors went out to Porter's Pub for Mardi Gras dinner (and because they server Abita TurboDog). I had the jambalaya. I just don't understand why everyone thinks Louisiana food has to be so spicy your eyes bleed. The flavors of the chicken (whole breast), rice (spicy), two (!?) shrimp, and mushrooms were good. The sauce (!?!) that covered everything was a little too much for my taste. I would rather have had some Crystal Hot Sauce on the side to make as spicy as I would like. Nonetheless, it was a good time and the food was very good as always.

Today, this article all about gumbo and New Orleans appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I wish I had my kitchen so that I could make some gumbo of my own. There is a seres of posts coming together about the kitchen, too (and I have lots of pictures of things the dogs have eaten, too).

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