Shrove vs. Fat

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New Orleans airport decor 2011

You know I try not to talk much about politics or religion because they’re polarizing, but…  I am who I am and I try not to apologize for it.  I promise this post is really more philosophical and/or cultural than religious!!

That being said, I grew up with one foot in the Methodist Church, my seat in an Episcopal Church, and then the other foot led all of me to the Catholic Church when I was old enough to make such a decision.   So all of that’s to say, I grew up doing Shrove Tuesday… only we just called it Pancake Supper, and it was generally hosted by the Youth Group.  I thought it was a fundraiser and didn’t realize it had historical/cultural/whatever implications until I was a ‘tween and THAT church began having a Seder Supper.

It wasn’t until … just a few years ago, when I made friends with some New Orleans natives (who happen to be Catholic), that I began to understand that Mardi Gras is much more than the hoopla on Bourbon Street.  The short version of this lesson is that Mardi Gras ends at midnight on Fat Tuesday.  There’s also a bit of a French class in there too – because it’s a very loose translation of Fat Tuesday. 

February 2011 010

The girls sporting the beads 2011

Anyway, in case you missed it or forgot, I kinda’ fell in love with the bits of NoLa I got to see last year, so I’m wearing kelly green and royal purple, and my officially imported from the Big Easy beads.  (And no matter what the Knight tells you, I did NOT lift my shirt to get them.  They were part of the welcome package from our host League.  I promise.) 

Anyway, I adore the sharp contrast between the practice of Shrove Tuesday and its pancakes – using up the sugar, butter, eggs, white flour in the pantry before Lent – and Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras and its rather hedonistic celebrations, also in the name of using up the fats that aren’t to be eaten for 40 days…

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Sissy's Mardi Gras mask

Either way, they both remind me that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season.  When I was younger, I gave up something – sugar, chocolate, sodas – for Lent.   The past few years, I’ve focused more on the spiritual reflective part of the season.  This year, my former firefighter potty mouth is back almost full strength, so I’m giving up bad language.   I think I’m going to have a little jar or something and put a dollar in it every time I slip up, and then I’ll donate what I hope is a paltry sum somewhere…

(I’d never noticed that Sis is sticking her tongue out.  Funny girl.  She’s DEFINITELY more Fat Tuesday in the French Quarter while Gretchen is more of a Shrove kinda’ girl…)

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13 comments on “Shrove vs. Fat

  1. Mary says:

    We are having pancakes tonight (thank you, Kr*steaz blueberry pancake mix). So not trying to get rid of anything in the pantry…just realized we didn’t put anything out to thaw for din-din.

    Good luck with the potty mouth pledge. I would be a very rich woman if I tried it…actually I might as well just stroke a check now to the charity of my choice. Hmmm.

  2. Katherine says:

    You didn’t flash someone to get the Mardi Gras beads? What fun is that? I love the girls beads and Sissy’s mask.

    Like you, I would like to clean up my act (or at least my mouth) so I made a New Year’s resolution to control the language. Believe me, you don’t need a repentance jar because everyone will call you on it when you slip!!

  3. Mr. Puffy says:

    Oh go on and admit you earned those beads – LOL I was raised protestant and all of the lent and ash Wed tradition flies under the radar for me ~ but Easter and now Passover are very important. But what’s not to like about celebrations involving pancakes :)))

  4. km says:

    February has been kicking my but. I didn’t even realize Lent was about to start…I’m barely over Valentine’s day. My 8 (almost 9) has gone gluten free/dairy free…so I feel we’re giving up enough. But I do seriously want to work on my attitude. M is complaining that when he comes home I always seem to have had a bad day. I feel like that’s not my fault…the last while has been pretty crappy. If M feels like I’m pushing his buttons with my bad attitude, I’ll at least have to keep my pouty thoughts to myself (or maybe to just to my girlfriends). A Thankful Thursday isn’t nearly enough for me…I’m going to have to focus on choosing joy all the time.

  5. AlisonH says:

    I laughed out loud when that top picture opened up on my screen–it looked like Cookie Monster there for a minute!

  6. gMarie says:

    Oh how I wish my husband would eat pancakes for dinner. I haven’t done fish on Fridays in years – but I’ve had a hankering for clam chowder.

    Your girls are adorable! And I don’t know why you didn’t ‘earn’ those beads. Enjoy the purple and green today. 🙂 g

  7. Marjie says:

    Aw, nuts! I was hoping you were all wild and crazy just once! The Chief would probably have relished the story!

    And thanks for the reminder. I need to make a King Cake tonight, don’t I? The boys sort of expect it to show up seemingly at random in February or March.

    (And I avoid politics, religion, etc, too, because I know I’d p*** off just about everyone.)

  8. Sue says:

    I’m with Marjie. I don’t think blogville is ready for my views on those two subjects.

    I’ve always wanted to go to NOLA for Mardi Gras. But after being in Trinidad for the lead up to Carnival, I know that I actually want to go to Rio. Rob and I have actually been invited by a fellow PWD owner who lives in Rio. Maybe one of these days….

  9. Nichole says:

    Good idea on the donation jar!

  10. Kathy says:

    I got an email a while back from King Arthur Flour that was a recipe for individual king cakes (king cupcakes?) that I wanted to make and take to my office. Unfortunately Sunday got away from me before I could bake.

    It’s hard for me to properly celebrate when the events fall in the middle of the work week, as Ash Wednesday does.

  11. kathy b says:

    Oh I haven’t had any Fat Tuesday foods yet today…..I love King Cake. I do not like Lent…I never have. SOme years I try to like Lent for Lent….
    I’ve tried to give up my potty mouth for Lent before too.

    Hmmmmmm. TIme for some thought on this.

    LOVE the girls images on this post

  12. Bubblesknits says:

    Love the pictures of the girls in their Mardi Gras finery. 🙂 I have no self control, so giving up something for Lent has never gone over well for me. lol

  13. Ruth says:

    I’m glad you chose the Lenten “give-up” that you did. YOu’ll be the happier for it, no doubt. 🙂 I don’t usually do that aspect of the season, though I DO try to have a Seder each year. First day of Passover coincides with Daniel’s 21st this year. Good excuse to party!

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