Saturday night was our 9th Mardi Gras Madness party. Amy used to live in New Orleans, and misses it very much, especially around Mardi Gras. In an attempt to ease her (second)-homesickness, we started having a Mardi Gras party when we moved into our house. It has grown so much over the years that on Saturday night, we had (by our count) 101 people attend (including the two of us). And our house is only about 1400 square feet, so...yeah.
Mardi Gras consumes our lives for about 2 weeks every year. It's a lot of work to have that many people over! There's the buying and the prepping and the decorating and the cleaning, and since it's winter here, there's the building of "Tent City" - one assembled insta-tent under which the turkeys are fried, and one giant tarp covering our back deck to provide heat and warmth since not everyone can fit inside the house. Luckily, we have plenty of friends, family and neighbors who pitch in. Those that do are known as the "Krewe" and are given special krewe-beads, different ones each year, to honor their efforts. Special thanks to Krewe 2012!
You're probably wondering how that is enough to feed everyone? Well, it isn't, of course. That's the best part about our Mardi Gras party. Just about everyone brings a dish, and just about every dish is homemade. On Saturday, there was jambalaya, deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail, jalapeno-meat poppers, Cajun nacho dip, three-bean dip, Cajun meatballs, regular meatballs, mashed potato-stuffed tomatoes, chili cheese dip, veggie pizza, stuffed peppers, American chop suey, stromboli, stuffed mushrooms, spicy mac-n-cheese, Buffalo wings, and much, much more. Then there was the desserts, which included paczkis, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, anise cookies with Mardi-Gras-colored frosting, brownies with walnuts, and plain brownies, among others.
Where are all the rest of the pictures, you wonder? Where's all the "food porn"? Amidst the chaos of prepping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, serving, hosting, drinking, eating and enjoying everyone's company, there just isn't any time for that. So, enjoy the few that we have, but you'll have to use your imagination (and yes, you can let it wander - it's Mardi Gras after all). Maybe next year we'll hire a photographer. Until then, laissez les bon temp rouler, and Happy Mardi Gras to all of you!