This past weekend Abbotts Glen celebrated Mardis Gras. Warm enough to enjoy the clothing optional aspect of our inn, guests adorned themselves with colorful beads, funky hats of gold & purple, and lots & lots of multi color beads.
Our Saturday planned celebration got underway on Friday evening with a casual dinner consisting of a white bean chili, salad of romaine, orange segments & avocado, homemade cornbread served with a crock of sweet aguave butter.
The Mardis Gras celebration dinner was the early highlight of the night. We prepared the best pot of gumbo ever! The recipe is one I had collected from an issue of Cooks magazine. The perfect roux created a great base for this savory melange of vegetables, meats & fish. Guests ladled big portions of gumbo onto a base of
white rice. A basket of perfectly fried hush puppies accompanied the dinner. Now no Nawlins dinner is complete with out collards. Ours was prepared with red onions sauteed in bacon, braised & finished with red wine vinegar & a touch of brown sugar.
Even guests who had never eaten collards were won over by its silky texture & sweet onion bacon flavors.
In years past, I had baked up a sweet potato pie or a bread pudding with a Bourbon sauce, but this year we shifted gears & decided to make a traditional Kings Cake recipe. A sweet yeast dough laced with cinnamon & sugar would be as at home in a breakfast line up as an after dinner sweet. Its traditional adornment is rustic sugar colored green, gold & purple. Served with a good cup of coffee, our Mardis Gras revelers were ready to dance it up in Club Sugar shack, bearing strands of colorful beads & masks & hats of every shape & color reflective of Mardis Gras .