Ash it up Ash it Up
Welcome to Lenten Season
It’s officially the end of Mardi Gras season and the beginning of the Lenten season. If you are not Christian (Catholic), the day after Fat Tuesday( also known as Shrove Tuesday) is Ash Wednesday. This is the day that one receives ashes to cleanse and renew thyself. You will find in New Orleans, they believe in simplifying everything, so you can even get drive-thru ashes with a priest doing a quick prayer and you are on your way.
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I never received ashes due to my not being Catholic. I also found it to be unnecessary. I can cleanse and renew by talking with my guy G.O.D. The one thing I did pick up and choose to follow was the givin up on something during Lent. I found it a good way to be disciplined in something that would otherwise be hard to give up.
Along with giving up bad behavior and habits, you also give up unclean things in terms of food. That means meatless Fridays-seafood and vegetables are your friends. There is not a more fitting place for seafood days than Louisiana.
I tend not to follow this part as strictly but I will find something to give up. In the past, I gave up soda, sweets, and cursing, to name a few. I’ve fallen off the last few years with releasing and renewing. Maybe that’s part of the reason I have been feeling stuck.
This year, I’m focusing on giving up doubting myself; renewed faith in my abilities when it comes to cooking, baking, and writing.
Since it’s all about seafood and going meatless, here is a list of cookbooks to check out:
Hooks, Lies, and Alibis by Chef John Folse and Micheaela D. York
This cookbook covers seafood and game fish in Louisiana. This cookbook is like a textbook in length but has everything you could ask for when it comes to recipes and history.
Orchids and Sweet Tea by Shankia Graham-White
This is one of my favorite cookbooks and food content creators. Her food is beautiful as well as flavorful and fun. The combination of more plant focused food drew me in along with the combo of Jamaican and Southern inspired dishes. She does have a few chicken recipes but you can easily substitute a fish or other seafood.
Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou by Melissa M. Martin
This cookbook is also a real supper club here in New Orleans. You will find some of the recipes in this book, available at Melissa’s table. It breaks down the chapters by protein and other dishes. Also, it gives you the history of the bayou and why it is up to us to save it.
A Recipe to Go
If you were to ask people who know me if I loved condiments, they would laugh in your face. I am known for only liking barbecue sauce and vinegar based sauces, mostly. I will say there is something about ketchup on a cheeseburger from McDonalds that just hits different.
One of the few dipping sauces that I enjoy with seafood is cocktail sauce. It’s tangy, spicy and the perfect compliment to seafood whether fried, baked, or pan seared.
Homemade Cocktail Sauce
Fresh Horseradish or Store bought
Ketchup-whatever tickles your fancy
1 fresh lemon, halved
Hot sauce- Crystals is where it’s at but pick your fav
Start with 1/2 tsp of horseradish. Squeeze ketchup into horseradish, a little at a time. Taste to see how much spiciness you want and the flavor is meddled how you would like. Squeeze lemon and add a dash of hot sauce if you want more kick.
This recipe is meant to be made your own. Mosquito Supper Club has a recipe that you can follow if you need more direction.
I hope y’all take the time today to listen to yourself when it comes to what you need to release and renew. You don’t have to be religious to take some time to take a chance on yourself.
Until next time,
P.S.-My favorite thing I got during Mardi Gras was from the Krewe of Bacchus. The universe provides! (I absolutely did not need more measuring cups but can you really have too many?)