Happy Lundi Gras, y’all!!

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Tomorrow is Mardi Gras Day in my hometown, New Orleans, which makes today Lundi Gras. The Monday (Lundi en Français) before Mardi Gras used to be a day to rest and recover from the massive parades over the previous weekend. It became its own day of celebration in 1987, and NewOrleans.com has the details on the newer Lundi Gras celebrations.

Tonight’s Parades

Google Maps showing the NOLAcom building about a block and a half down St. Charles St. towards Julia Street from Harmony CircleTonight we have the parades for the Krewe of Proteus and the Krewe of Orpheus. You can watch the parades on NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Parade Cam. They’ll be streaming from The Times-Picayune building just east of Harmony Circle (formerly named for a losing Confederate general) beginning at 5:15 pm Central Time, just keep in mind that it will take some time for the parades to get to Harmony Circle.

Orpheus will have the terrific twosome of Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka as their celebrity monarchs, and I’m going to try to get the stream hosts to shout “Spice up your life!” at Neil. Why, you ask? Because he danced to that song from the Spice Girls in the third 60th anniversary Doctor Whoo special, The Giggle.

Mardi Gras Day

You can stream the Mardi Gras Day festivities from several sources in La Nouvelle Orléans. In addition to several marching groups, there are parades in New Orleans for the Krewes of Zulu and Rex (the King of Carnival) as well as truck parades for the Krewes of Elks Orleanians and Crescent City.

NOLA.com’s Parade Cam will stream Zulu and Rex, and it will be a nice way to watch the major New Orleans parades on Fat Tuesday. Local NBC affiliate WDSU (a sister station to ABC affiliate WCVB, the station I watch for local news in Boston) will add coverage for some of the marching clubs, black masking indians, and truck parades. WDSU will also cover the parades in the surrounding area for a more inclusive day of coverage. NOLA.com’s stream will start at 8 am Central Time and WDSU will start streaming both on their website and the Very Local app beginning at 6:00 am Central Time. (WDSU is a sister station to WCVB, the station I watch for local news in Boston.)

Do you want some New Orleans-esque food for Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras donuts from Mardi Gras Day 2023My family has two food traditions for Mardi Gras Day. We start with Mardi Gras donuts, which are similar to beignets but without the yeast. The recipe is super simple with just three ingredients. The picture is the donuts I made for last year’s Mardi Gras Day.

Important note: Once again, I forgot that the recipe I got from my aunt doesn’t include any liquid. I’ll have to correct the recipe in the coming months, and when I do I’ll post the update here. I’ll also write a stand-alone article with the corrected recipe for Mardi Gras 2025, which will be on 4 March 2025.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  1. Mix the ingredients.
  2. Roll thin and cut into triangles or diamond shapes. Cut a vent slit or two, depending on the size of the triangle.
  3. Fry till crispy in vegetable oil heated to 3500℉.
  4. Dust with powdered (confectioner’s) sugar.
  5. Bon appetite.

They go great with a nice cup of Community New Orleans Blend if you’re able to get it. I buy it from Amazon and it’s the coffee I brew every day. It doesn’t contain chicory, but it’s the coffee my family made when I was younger. You can add plain chicory to get coffee and chicory, but the brand of chicory I used was discontinued, and I haven’t found a new brand I love yet. If you like cold brewed coffee, I can promise you that New Orleans Blend is delicious brewed cold.

Our other Mardi Gras Day food tradition is a simple lunch to take to the parades: fried chicken. Not only is it a great thing to eat between parades out on the route, but you can also have it for dinner if you have any left. Just serve it with a simple salad, and it’s a (fairly) nutritious meal on a very full day.

I could fry up a batch of air fryer wing dings (I need to post that recipe soon), but I bought a tray of fried chicken while I was making a few groceries.

Have a great Mardi Gras and laissez les bons temps rouler, y’all!

One more quick note

Thanks to a nice long bit of jury duty, I’m finally getting some gear for recording demos of some of my songs. I’ll be posting a teaser clip for Somewhere Someone Cares in the coming days to YouTube so you may want to subscribe to my channel at @JMHardin and click the bell so you get notified when it drops. I also post cute videos of Babe, my upstairs neighbor’s cat, so if you like cat videos you may have another reason to follow my channel there.

Do you like to visit museums?

As I read this week’s edition of Highlights from the Second Life Destination Guide, I learned there are more museums in my favorite virtual world than I realized. I knew about the International Spaceflight Museum, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the LGBTQ History Museum and Cultural Center, and Baltimore’s The Peale. But that barely scratches the surface of museums you can visit in Second Life with no admission fee beyond your internet connection and installing a free Second Life viewer (the client software for getting into SL). Plus, you can visit them at any hour of the day or night without having to worry about what you’re wearing. You can be dressed up, dressed down, in your jimjams, or even wearing nothing at all. As long as you’re not naked in Second Life, you will find a lot of places to visit that cover more subjects than many real-life cities have.

Srmstrong Park in Second Life. Photo from the Second life Destination guide.There’s even a virtual version of a public park and museum close to my heart from the city of my kittenhood. But alas, the virtual version doesn’t include The Treehouse, a former home of the best radio station in the entire multiverse.

Thoughts of Hearth and Home on this Labor Day Weekend

(Please pardon how late this is getting published. I was offline for the weekend and almost forgot to get it off my flash drive and publish it.)

As has happened in a lot of years gone by, my mom’s birthday falls on Labor Day, this year and of course I took some time over the weekend to think about her. As happens with so many others I didn’t know I’d want to talk to my mom so much until she was gone. She died a few years back, and it’s struck me how many times in the last two years alone I wish I could have called Mom, maybe to ask about a recipe or some other kind of food thing (she was an incredible cook), maybe to ask her about something on my mind, or perhaps just to call and ask my Mom how she was doing. She was always busy with a lot on her plate, and I have no idea what her days were like as she started her eighth decade on the planet. Our folks divorced when I was but a wee kitten, putting our mom immediately into the role of working mother just to do what she could to make sure my brother, sister and I had as close to a normal childhood as we could. more “Thoughts of Hearth and Home on this Labor Day Weekend”