Showing posts with label new orleans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new orleans. Show all posts

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Delicious New Orleans Tradition, Jambalaya

One of the things I love about New Orleans, whether it's Mardi Gras or any other time of year is the incredible cuisine. Jambalaya is one of my favorite dishes. I've had it in other places besides The Big Easy, but I'm telling you...it just ain't the same!!! ;0) Jambalaya is a native Creole and Cajun dish. The name is thought to have derived from the French word for ham "jambon", along with the word "ya" which in many West African languages refers to rice.
For the uninitiated jambalaya is a one pot dish with a variety of tasty ingredients. You start out with crawfish, which are fresh water bayou shellfish, they look a lot like a small lobster; rice, tomatoes, andouille sausage (which is nice and spicy), chicken, onions, shrimp and more.
 
Check out this video on how to make jambalaya...yeeaaah! Mmmmmmm!



Thanks for visiting. Feel free to comment below.


Sondra Carpenter
The Mardi Gras Girl

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Support This Film Project Featuring New Orleans Marching Bands: The Whole Gritty City

The New Orleans  marching bands have been a part of not only the city's multi-faceted music history, but African American culture as well. The tradition of the brass bands go back well into the 1800's and have been the backdrop for practically everything New Orleans from parties to Mardi Gras parades to funerals. The brass bands have also been an integral part of college and high school campus life.
Within the New Orleans community the high school brass bands carry on the tradition in the midst of inner city violence and distress in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's disruption. The creators of the independent documentary The Whole Gritty City is currently seeking funding for their film. The production shows the mentors of these students supporting these children by passing down a musical legacy. The importance of the tradition is not only in keeping the music of the brass bands alive through the next generation but also the children's character and spirits strong amidst the dramas they face.
 
  
Thanks for visiting. Please click here to help fund this project. Minimum pledge is only $1. They are almost halfway through to the $50,000 needed. All pledges must be received by October 10, 2012.


Sondra Carpenter
The Mardi Gras Girl

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Glen David Andrews Continues The Amazing Music Tradition In New Orleans

This is not really a post about Mardi Gras, but in another sense it is. If you know anything at all about New Orleans, you know the music is a big part of the Mardi Gras celebration as well as any of the festivals in the area.


 A few years back, before Hurricane Katrina, I was hanging out in Jackson Square in New Orleans. Jackson Square is located in the famous French Quarter, surrounded by ornate historic buildings. It has long been a haven for artists of every type, particularly musicians and painters.

On this particular day I was fortunate enough to hear the incredible artist Glen Davis Andrews, native of New Orleans who grew up in the Treme section of New Orleans. Treme is known to be one of the oldest as well as one of the most important historic neighborhoods in the country for African American culture.

I purchased an original CD from him during his performance in Jackson Square years ago and it's a special addition to my music collection. Check out some of his more recent releases below as well.


 
What struck me immediately about Glen David Andrews' performance was it's uniqueness, but also the similarity to the great Louis Armstrong in his trombone playing as well as vocals. His background includes membership in the New Birth Brass Band and Olympia Brass Band. Glen's rendition of "The Saints Go Marching In" was soulful and energetic. You can tell he not only loves the music, but also the traditions of New Orleans.

Check out the video from one of his performances at the Louisiana Music Factory.



Hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to leave comments.


Sondra Carpenter
The Mardi Gras Girl



Friday, August 24, 2012

Mardi Gras May Not Be What You Think


Most people who hear about Mardi Gras in New Orleans think it's mainly an out of control "Girls Gone Wild" celebration in the streets of the French Quarter. Although Mardi Gras (which is French for Fat Tuesday) does embrace the ultimate in wildness and over the top partying, that's not the whole story.
 
There are lots of parades, and beads and coins (called throws) tossed to the anxious crowds that line the sidewalks. The most extreme celebrations tend to be concentrated on Bourbon Street. So if that's what you're looking for, that's the place to be.

The rest of the French Quarter, Canal Street and throughout the Central Business and Warehouse Districts host parades with krewe members in costumes riding along floats. Lots of local schools have bands and dancers performing as well. Most of the entertainment and activities are a lot more tame than they're usually described, but lots of fun!

I've been to 2 Mardi Gras celebrations so far and have had a great time. New Orleans to me is such an amazing city...the jazz and zydeco music blasting from clubs as you walk along the streets in the Quarter, wonderful achitecture, delicious food like jambalaya and the best fried catfish I ever had, and of course the people. I always feel at home there, New Orleanians tend to be straight forward, down to earth people who want you to enjoy their city.

Speaking of amazing fried catfish I just HAVE to give a shout out to Two Sisters Kitchen, 223 N. Derbigny St., NOLA. 504-524-0056. Great food, great prices! OK, enough about about food for now! :0)

If you plan to attend the festivities try to come  within the last 3-4 weeks of Fat Tuesday. The Mardi Gras celebrations start January 6 which is The Feast of the Epiphany and the last day is Mardi Gras Day which is always the day before Ash Wednesday.

If you show up on Mardi Gras Day that's the last day of the celebration until next year!


Have you been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or thinking about it? Feel free to share by posting a comment below.

Thanks for visiting!
Sondra Carpenter
The Mardi Gras Girl

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ate An Alligator In New Orleans

February of last year my cousin and I returned to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We hung out in the French Quarter quite a bit, this is one of her pics of the area featured here, and decided to have dinner at the Riverfront Restaurant on Decatur Street. It took awhile to choose from the many dining options but one thing I noticed on their menu posted in the window that I hadn't tried yet! Alligator!
 
I ordered Alligator Bites as an appetizer. They come either fried or blackened, I chose to have them blackened. Pretty tasty, a savory and very slight gamey taste. I'd heard from people that it tasted like chicken, I think it has it's own distinct flavor. The texture was tender but a little chewier than chicken. Also I had what they call Taste of New Orleans - A trio of the city’s very best dishes — chicken and sausage gumbo, crawfish étouffée and jambalaya. All the best, all on one plate! (From their menu description!) Enjoyed my dinner along with the traditional drink of New Orleans, a Hurricane.
 
If you ever find yourself wandering around on Decatur Street, check it out.
 
 
Sondra Carpenter
The Mardi Gras Girl