This week is Mardi Gras. We usually make a king cake, which is basically sweet bread formed in a ring with sugar icing on top sprinkled with green and purple sugar. Stick a plastic baby in it after it bakes and you're good to go.
King Cake is a New Orleans, Mardi Gras tradition. That and a lot of drinking. I personally think I'd like a thick rare juicy steak for Mardi Gras, if I'm not supposed to eat meat for how many weeks of lent? The getting drunk think is not something I will miss or do miss, because it happens so rarely these days.
I've only been to New Orleans once, and it wasn't for Mardi Gras. That city is crazy enough on a regular weekday, or at least it was before the flood. I got my first tattoo there in the French Quarter. That's another very long story. I do have a family connection though. My step mom is from Louisiana and she has been to Mardi Gras many times. She loves it and sends us very cool beads from the casinos. And no, she doesn't expose herself to get them. You see when you're over a certain age, they give you beads if you promise NOT to lift your shirt.
I just had to post this yummy recipe for French Market Beignets (pronounced ben-yay). These are little square fried dough pieces covered in powdered sugar, usually served three at a serving, with coffee.
French Market Beignets
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105°f to 115°f)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Sifted powdered sugar
Combine yeast and warm water in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
Combine yeast mixture, evaporated milk, and next 3 ingredients. Gradually stir in enough flour to
make a soft dough. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface; knead 5 or 6 times. Roll dough into a 15- x 12 1/2-inch
rectangle; cut into 2 1/2-inch squares.
Pour oil to depth of 3 to 4 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 375°. Fry 3 or 4 beignets at a time, 1
minute on each side or until golden. Drain; sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen