Another Lent is upon us, so we did it up right this year. Joined by friends Danielle and Rubén, I spent a week at Mardi Gras. New Orleans’ version of Carnival fills the city and surrounding areas with weeks of parades, parties, music, food, drink, and all sorts of excess.
Carnival means “farewell to the flesh”, so Fat Tuesday is the last hurrah. It is the day to indulge yourself in pleasure, since Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a 46-day time of atonement and non-indulgence. This is why Carnival season – and especially Fat Tuesday – is full on drinking, dancing, partying, and indulging in meats and sweets (such as King cake).
Since I give up bacon (and sometimes more) during Lent, I’ve decided to end Fat Tuesday enjoying something that pairs well with bacon – a fine bourbon. Thanks to Larry & Christian for the bacon, Brooke & Josie for the bourbon, and Salt7 for the fantastic venue. And last but not least, Angel’s Envy for making such a fine product.
Oh snap! It’s Fat Tuesday. For those of you who’ve been around since last year, I created this blog on Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent – because, for some stupid reason, I gave up bacon for Lent and thought I’d share the next 40+ days with you.
So, this evening, I’m cooking up any bacon I have left in the refrigerator to consume tonight or have my girlfriend use in her own dishes during the next few days. This just happens to be Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon.
So for the next 40+ days, I’ll be craving bacon but eating things that aren’t bacon… like ham or sausage or Canadian bacon… or maybe no breakfast meat whatsoever.
While I was making our morning coffee, when I went to grab the half-and-half I noticed that the bacon was missing from the refrigerator. When I opened the freezer, I found the bacon there – it appears that my girlfriend Susan is freezing the bacon until Easter… God bless her. (Whoops – was that blasphemous? I shouldn’t ask God to bless anything during Lent I guess). Then I realized there was some King cake left from our Fat Tuesday celebration, so I proceeded to have a slice of the sugary sweet pastry – nice, but not the same as my beloved salty but scrumptious bacon.
Publix-brand King cake with way too many plastic baby Jesuses (is that plural of “Jesus”?)
While browsing Twitter today, I discovered a wonder invention from the Oscar Meyer Institute for the Advancement of Bacon – a device that plugs into your iPhone and turns it into a bacon scent alarm clock. They aren’t for sale – only 4700 made and you have to be chosen to receive one. I didn’t win today, but I’ll definitely try tomorrow. After all, I gave up bacon for Lent but said nothing about giving up smelling an artificial bacon scent in the morning.
Last night, I laid in bed pondering what to give up for Lent this year. Well, actually last night I was on a Bourbon Street-inspired journey along Atlantic Ave celebrating Fat Tuesday by tossing beads and tossing back beers, glasses of wine, and vodka sodas. So, this morning I laid in bed pondering what to give up for Lent this year, and wondering why I had such a terrible headache.
I believe whatever you give up for Lent should be something meaningful and something you regularly enjoy – you shouldn’t give up meat if you’re already a vegetarian, or give up stone crab claws because you love them, but in reality you only have them once every year.
In previous years, I gave up liquor – but with St. Patty’s Day coming, and March Madness having my beloved Florida Gators destined for a #1 seed, that’s just not going to happen. So I thought, “What else do I love – on a regular basis – that I can give up for 6 weeks and not go crazy and shoot somebody Pistrorius-style?” Then I came upon the most beloved of pork product – that which can be enjoyed for breakfast, or on a burger for lunch, or wrapped around scallops for a scrumptious dinner appetizer, or sprinkled on top of fudge and soft ice cream for a dessert sundae – BACON.
When I announced this to my girlfriend Susan, she proceeded to whip up a delicious breakfast featuring some Hormel Black Label bacon, which I gobbled but savored, and headed to church for Ash Wednesday services.
Thanks Susan! Hopefully these 3 strips will get me through the next 6 weeks. Hell – will they get me through the next hour of mass? Off to church….