What we really need about now in Iowa is a good party, suspended drearily between Christmas and spring. But the culture's all wrong and so, most years, is the climate. Who wants to grab beads, go up town and march around the square in snow?
This year, however, South moved North and we could have pulled it off. But it's too late --- Mardi Gras season ends tomorrow on Fat Tuesday. I guess I'll just take down the Christmas decorations. Nope, haven't done that yet (other than the tree).
Maybe red beans and rice for lunch --- providing Hy-Vee down here stocks Zatarain's. I've never looked. If not --- back to meatloaf (Iowa's official state dish). At least my recipe includes a good dose of Cajun seasoning.
Morning after? Here's a guaranteed Fat Tuesday bloody mary recipe:
46-ounce bottle vegetable or tomato juice
half cup lemon juice
quarter-cup liquid from a jar of pickled okra
3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons horseradish
teaspoon celery seed
pepper sauce (up to you)
2 cups plain or pepper-flavored vodka
Stir well, or shake. Must be very cold. Serve with ice, if you like. Garnish with pickled okra. Let the good times roll indeed.
Not up to it? Start the day with the Balfa Brothers and La Dance des Mardi Gras.