Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday
Mardi Gras is French for "fat Tuesday"--the final feasting before the fasting of Lent, which begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is also called Shrove Tuesday, a name that comes from the practice of shriving--purifying oneself through confession--prior to Lent. Many of the names applied to this day relate to food and eating. In many Latin countries, Mardi Gras is the culmination of the carnival season of revelry and feasting. Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, this Tuesday is Fastnacht (fast night), and everyone enjoys the traditional fastnachtkuchen, a rectangular doughnut with a slit in the middle. If you’re not up to traveling to the big Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, you might want to build a miniature float for the parade or sample some of the food served at this event. Visit the Mardis Gras and Cajun Food Recipe Guide to find out how to make Crawfish Bisque or Cajun Shrimp Creole. Or check out the Old Farmer's Almanac’s very own Shrove Tuesday Pancakes for a tamer change of pace.