Mardi Gras is an extended celebration (weeks long!) in New Orleans. So it is fitting that readers have come up with many fun ways to enjoy this last big party before the stoicism of Lent begins. Here are some great party ideas posted by readers in the Entertaining Forum.
Create Your Own Mardi Gras Ball
"We are hosting a couples wedding shower in a Mardi Gras theme this year. We are having it during the Mardi Gras season - approximately a week and a half before Fat Tuesday.
We are decorating the entire inside and outside of the house as if you were at a Mardi Gras Ball with garland, streamers, lights, balloons and Masks! All in the traditional Purple, Green and Gold. On the table we are using the shower invitations, doubloons, beads and moon pies as part of our decorations. The King Cake will serve as our centerpiece and whoever finds the baby will win a door prize...
Dress will be casual since we want this to be a party atmosphere and not so formal. We live in Mobile (where Mardi Gras was invented) and most of us attend balls on a regular basis so we want this to be more casual! All guests were requested to wear their favorite beads on the shower invitation but they will also be given some upon entering the party.
Just like a Mardi Gras Ball, the party will have a theme - "Stars fell on Alabama" (a Jimmy Buffet song). We have painted a large piece of plywood to coordinate with the theme and will take Polaroids of each couple standing in front of it to give them as a gift as they leave the house!
(You always get your picture taken at the balls in front of the theme for that year.)
We will serve jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, moon pies, King Cake, Mardi Gras Margaritas, dips and crackers. We are planning on playing Mardi Gras related jazz, zydeco and dance music during the event. Must have song - "Mardi Gras Mambo" by Buckwheat Zydeco!"
A Large Costume Party "I've been having Mardi Gras parties for about 10 years. Went from a small dinner with a few friends and a luncheon at work to a large costume party. However, much of my extended family is in New Orleans.
In addition to a keg of beer, I offer:
Jambalaya, Crawfish bread, Andouille BBQ, Shrimp & Crab appetizers, Cheese straws, Natchitoches Meat Pies, Several other appetizers and, of course, King Cake."
"Do any of you, (besides those living in the South) celebrate Mardi Gras? In the British Isles it is called Shrove Tuesday and they eat pancakes. The reason for eating pancakes is that you were not allowed to have such forbidden foods as eggs, cream, fat or butter in the house during Lent, so you made pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, (the day before the beginning of Lent) to use up all those things. Ecclesiastical laws no longer govern but it is a tradition and people still eat pancakes or crêpes on Shrove Tuesday with all sorts of toppings for them...
You make piles and piles of crêpes or pancakes and then offer many different things to go on top of, or into them. Things that are good to serve with your pancakes are:
Grated cheeses, cheese sauce, creamed things like: ham, chipped beef, tuna, chopped eggs in white sauce, clams, spinach, etc. slivered ham; crumbled bacon, chopped onions, sautéed mushrooms, shrimp meat, crumbled cooked sausage, grilled and slivered chicken breast
Any and all jams, jellies, marmalades and preserves, lemon curd, fresh fruit compote, sliced fruit berries, stewed fruits syrup, of course.
Do it as a buffet, letting people mix and match their crêpes and, or pancakes and their toppings."