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Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, is the day before the lenten season of fasting and abstinence begins. It is the culmination of the festival of Carnivale which begins with the celebration of the Epiphany which occurs twelve days after Christmas. In celebration of the last day before Lent, most people go all out with a special meal or in the case of a lot of people, a dinner of pancakes since Fat Tuesday is also known in parts of the world as Pancake Day. The reason being that people traditionally would use the last day before the lenten season to use up all their fat, eggs and dairy by making pancakes before Ash Wednesday to clean the cupboards, so to speak, of the rich and fattening foods that weren’t permitted during the fasting period.
We didn’t have pancakes for dinner (although that would have also been a good idea) instead, we had just about as fat a meal as one could get at the men’s requests– Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes with a provolone cheese sauce on kaiser buns and scalloped potatoes au gratin.
This is my trusty mandoline which is probably as old as at least one of the boys and is kept safe and sound in its cardboard box (together with its VHS instructional tape (give you an idea of how old it really is?) in the closet and is taken out for french fries, thinly sliced cucumber salad and for these potatoes. It made the work of thinly slicing four pounds of potatoes a heck of lot easier — otherwise I might not be writing this now, but rather I might still be slicing potatoes.
We had salad and I had steamed escarole too, just because we needed something green and relatively healthy.
Dessert will be double dark chocolate brownies that just got taken out of the oven instead of the King cake that a lot of people enjoy.
However you choose to celebrate — Happy Mardi Gras!
- Happy Mardi Gras! (frenchtwistedwoman.com)
- This History of Mardi Gras (stlouisanshenanigans.wordpress.com)
- Clean Monday, Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday – What’s It All About? (godspace.wordpress.com)
- Celebrate “Fat Tuesday” with Orange Beignets (myoldtowneorange.com)
It’s the last hurrah today. The last chance to fill your face with the sweets or other goodies that you are depriving yourself of during Lent. The last chance to do the things that you will refrain from doing during Lent. “Mardi Gras” or “Fat Tuesday” is also known around the world as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day. It is the day when traditionally kitchens and cupboards are cleaned of their sugar, eggs and other “sweet” ingredients and people party in a last ditch effort to fill themselves to excess in order to prepare for the austere and reflective season of Lent.
The most famous of Mardi Gras celebrations take place in this country in New Orleans where a huge parade takes place and celebrating extends into the night and in Brazil in Buenos Aires where it is referred to as “Carnevale”, an equally elaborate celebration.
In some cultures, people eat pancakes on this date in order to use up the ingredients on hand which will not be used during the Lenten period of 40 days.
Enjoy your Mardi Gras however you may choose to celebrate it.