You oughta go see the Mardi Gras

Y’all might not be aware that Mormons, who don’t observe Lent, do observe Mardi Gras. Last night we had a big ol’ Mardi Gras party / surprise birthday bash. Arlene and I had been kicking around the idea of a large party for a few months, even though we’re not really big entertainers. We decided on Mardi Gras as an appropriate occasion and started laying in supplies. Zatarain’s and Tony‘s were prominently featured, along with a large bag of decorations and beads that Betty brought up when she came to babysit for our trip to Seattle earlier this year. Arlene spent all week in front of the stove, and Mom pitched in to help with the decorating, provisioning, and general preparation.
All I did was hang a few beads and boil 4 pounds of shrimp using an ancient family recipe (involving, of course, chemical weapons like this). Arlene made gumbo, red beans and rice, jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, and assorted fixings (salad, French bread). Everyone ate hugely, and we had a wonderful time– I have pictures to prove it. The highlight of the evening was Matt’s emergence from the basement (where he’d been lured by our bishop on the pretext of talking to him privately), at which point we all had our party hats on and the candles in the ice cream cake lit. Big fun! (Now, of course, Arlene’s out of town, so I have a whole house full of Mardi Gras decorations to take down and store.)

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