|A float in a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, circa 1988|
Happy Mardi Gras, ya'll!
Today is Mardi Gras day - we used to live in New Orleans, so this is a major holiday at out house! We had our annual party with a few friends (many of whom also lived in New Orleans when we did) on Saturday, and today, we will finish off the season with our annual tradition of Popeye's at a friend's house.
Want to join the fun today? Here is a collection of ways to celebrate Mardi Gras, New Orleans, and Louisiana today...including food, recipes, travel tips, movies & TV shows, and, of course, some great books!
Great Adult Books Set In/About Louisiana
- The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells, author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - I listened to Calla Lily's story on audio and laughed out loud & bawled my eyes out! It takes place in southern Louisiana, with plenty of local color.
- Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table by Sara Roahen - I loved this memoir about the food, history, people, and unique culture of New Orleans.
- Trail of Crumbs: Food, Love, and the Search for Home by Kim Sunée - although this food-focused memoir covers everyplace from Sweden to France to Korea, the author grew up in New Orleans, where the food culture impacted the rest of her life.
- Ruined by Paula Morris - a teen/YA mystery/ghost story set in New Orleans (the perfect setting for a ghost story!)
- The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman - a compelling middle-grade historical fiction adventure (with a touch of time travel), where a girl from 1960 travels back to 1860 Louisiana
- Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick - a middle-grade novel about Hurricane Katrina - powerful and gripping
- Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys - most people are familiar with her two YA novels set during WWII (Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea), but this historical novel is set in New Orleans in 1950
Movies & TV Shows
- Chef - a wonderful, uplifting movie about a family food truck that travels from Miami to LA, with a stop in New Orleans, of course! My favorite movie of the year in 2015.
- NCIS: New Orleans - though it's a crime show, it includes many scenes of New Orleans, mention of local restaurants and landmarks, and other local tidbits. They usually do a Mardi Gras episode around this time of year, so check your cable On Demand.
|One of the locals in Louisiana|
All this talk of Louisiana making you want to visit? I have written articles about visiting New Orleans and Exploring Cajun Country - check them out and start planning your trip (plenty of food recommendations in both!). I'm certainly ready to go back!
Notice that many of the books and movies about Louisiana are focused on FOOD? Yes, Louisiana - and especially New Orleans - is known for its amazing, unique food. This blog post on how to celebrate Mardi Gras includes my own recipes for some classic Louisiana dishes, plus food you can grab locally today and webcams where you can vicariously experience Mardi Gras - there are plenty of suggestions in this post that you can still manage to do TODAY! Or save it for tomorrow if you like - we eat this food all year round.
NOTE that Zapp's potato chips - which you absolutely MUST try) are now distributed up north by Herr's (I think they have other regional distributors in other parts of the nation, too), so you don't have to get them by mail-order. We can now find them in local stores like WaWa here in Delaware....though we still ordered an 8-bag carton for Mardi Gras!
|Me & my sons, about 8 years ago|