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Mardi Gras festivities merge into Lenten season

February has been full of jambalaya, boudain balls and gumbo, and I ate one thing on a stick at Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas.

The Jumbo Gumbo tasting featured all sorts of blends and surprises. One team seems to have taken all the skin off their chicken, perhaps in an attempt to make the gumbo more healthy. But they offered a bowl of fried chicken skins on the table. I ate two of those. Another team showed off shirts reading “Get Roux’d.” (Sounds like “get rude,” get it?)

Some other festive experiences around Port Arthur this Mardi Gras season:

* Worried about losing your baby in the king cake? Place him in a cloud of frosting atop a cupcake.

* My mom likes her boudain free from skin. I’ve discovered if your flatten your skinless link with a spatula, you can brown a sort of patty into crispy perfection.

* Zatarain’s sent me boxes of Dirty Rice Dinner Mix and Jambalaya Rice Dinner Mix that are both gluten free with no MSG added and have no colors from artificial sources. I’ve playing around with dirty rice omelette and rice salad with a mayo and vinaigrette dressing.

 

Lenten list

Mindful eating is a priority during my Lenten season and I focus on being grateful for every bite. I keep a small grocery budget and seek to donate to causes that feed the hungry in this time. So I try to stock up with bounty, to share with family and friends. My shopping list includes the basics, which can be transformed into creative blessings:

Greek Yogurt

Eggs

Cottage Cheese

Fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen

Beans, dry and canned

Canned oysters

Grains

 

 

darraghcastillo@icloud.com