I spent some time in New Orleans during the peak of the summer – July 2004. I was there, en route to a friend’s wedding in neighboring Covington, LA. Before and after the nuptials, my friends and I explored some of New Orleans. We were quite impressed with the pralines and the WWII D-Day museums. Apparently, the boats that make the grand entry on to the Normandy beaches were designed and manufactured in New Orleans, which makes sense considering the water-dependent city.
Of course, we traversed through the French Quarter. I recall a few things. First, I thought it very entertaining that stores had slurpee machines of 20 different flavors dispensing iced Margaritas. Second, I found the architecture very quaint. And third, the revelry is strong at any time of the year.
The last night of our stay, we spent too much money on a single cocktail so we could have standing room only access to a jazz band. They were good, but we were tired after parading through the streets in a horde of post-wedding attendees. Finally, my two friends and I detached ourselves from the throng and made our way back to our hotel. It was past midnight, and Molly, Anne and I were delicately walking along the streets, attempting to avoid the unidentifiable liquid. The pervading smells were of alcohol, vomit, and urine. I was a bit bedraggled, tired, and cranky – family members and close friends can account for what this special combination results in.
Although it intensified the scent and “flavors”, I kept my head down to see where I was going. I looked up at one point and was greeted with a “How YOU doin’?” and a once-over from a guy, likely from one of the NYC boroughs. Joey Tribiani (think: Friends) he was not. I took a deep breath of the stench, shook my head in disbelief and said “I can’t imagine what this must be like in Mardi Gras.”
My Mardi Gras celebration is pretty low key and consists more of ridding my refrigerator of the perishable, dairy items. For Lent over the past 6 years, I’ve gone “Vegan.” No doubt, I can and will describe this later as I post “vegan-friendly” recipes, but in the meantime I was looking for ways to use up the eggs in the refrigerator and contemplated freezing the butter if it doesn’t keep.
I opted to make biscotti. This was inspired by a late afternoon trip to Mellelo’s, the local coffee spot in town. I went in for some good coffee and because the line was so long I came out with biscotti as well. This version was from the Joy of Baking website: Cappucino Biscotti. It takes a fair bit of time, just for the baking. I considered drizzling some chocolate over the top for aesthetics, and well, chocolate, but I thought it might be a little too much. Go figure. I only had 2 eggs on hand, and for reasons noted above, I wasn’t about to buy another dozen so that I could complete the recipe. I opted instead to add some oil and water. It turned out okay. It’s biscotti – it’s supposed to be dry!