Life on a Parade Route


Three years ago the Uptown parade route expanded and some of the bigger parades now roll from  the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Magazine Street. This means that three years ago in a stroke of the greatest fortune ever I found myself suddenly living 400 feet off of a parade route. My best friend Cyndi Collier lives two blocks from me on Jefferson Avenue and we have developed this pretty perfect system whereby she throws out a spread of food and booze for before the parades and everyone gathers over there then we all head to my house for the post-parade party. When you live on a parade route your life is consumed with defending your parking place, restocking toilet paper and the liquor cabinet, tossing together loads of munchies to feed hoards of ravenous revelers, and cleaning your house every morning only to have it trashed again that night. Small sacrifices, all.

In the spirit of the season I would like to share a couple of recipes for superfast, easy crowd pleasers.  The recipe for Mardi Gras Muffuletta Pasta Salad was first shared with me by someone who admits to having zero culinary skills so absolutely anyone can make it. It does not even involve cooking; you just chop stuff up and toss it together. The recipe for Crunchy Slaw has been requested again and again and I am constantly asked to wickie it up to drag to parties all season long. It is hugely flavorful, works for vegetarians, and can sit out on a table or sideboard all day long to no ill effect.  Easiest Ever Red Beans cook all day in a slow cooker so all that's left to do before the crowd arrives is cook up some rice.  I typically toss together one or more of these dishes, set up a Bloody Mary bar, and pop open a platter of finger sandwiches or a box of fried chicken from Rouses along with a king cake and call it a party.  

Happy Mardi Gras! I am off to Krewe D'Etat.