Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez! Or as we say in Ireland, “Have a pancake.” Seems Mardi Gras is celebrated in Ireland as Pancake Day. The day preceding Ash Wednesday is also known as Shrove Tuesday. Shrove is the past tense of “to shrive” which means “to hear confession.” (Shrive is also the basis of the term “short shrift”–to disregard another person’s problems.)

Pancakes are a delicious and easy way to consume the dairy products the family will deny themselves during Lent. They also help the cook use any stores of cooking fat, hence Fat Tuesday. Also, did you know that carnivale means “Goodbye Meat!” derived from carne=meat and vale=fare you well (as in valediction).

Last night I learned from a Finnish gentleman that tradition in Finland includes pea soup as preparation for fasting. Most Finnish households eat pea soup every Thursday before the Friday fast, and the soup is also part of their Shrove Tuesday meal. They also eat pancakes, typically as dessert. Bill and I were happy to hear this, as we’ve got pea soup in our dinner plans for this week. We might be a little out of order on everything–pancakes last Saturday, soup during Lent, but we’ll try to fit it all in.

We definitely couldn’t let the season pass without jambalaya. Bill made a terrific batch of chicken and sausage jambalaya on Saturday. The basic ingredients were easy to find; he used polish sausage instead of andouille. It was really great, as good as the batch that made me fall in love with him back in ’94.

Bill prepares jamabalaya in our kitchen (note: the pita bread in his hand is not an ingredient)

Good ol' Cajun goodness

I’m sure there is a sadness (and hunger) in Austin today as the townspeople mourn the absence the Annual Gunter Mardi Gras Food Fest. There’s a little sadness in Raheny, Dublin too. I’m hoping Bill will still make a King Cake.

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