My son is in Christmas withdrawal. As we packed up the Christmas tree, he lovingly rang the bell in his favorite ornament, and then, when the box had been closed, patted it and said, “bye-bye, ho, ho, ho.” I know that he isn’t alone in this. At school this very morning I heard another mother say to her toddler that it’s OK that the Christmas trees are gone, because Carnival is here!
And she’s right. By the time you’ll read this, we’ll be hip-deep in parades, balls, parties and King Cake. In fact, we’ve already started. My son had a blast at Joan of Arc – as did his parents – and we’re almost through our first two King Cakes. My longtime favorite is Gambino’s Cream Cheese, which is problematic given that I can get them less than a block from my house!
This year, though, I’ve decided to branch out. The day after 12th Night, Mathis and I went to the King Cake Hub. Located in the circular drive at the Mystère Mansion (4800 Canal St.), they offer more than 50 King Cakes from bakeries around New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana. We decided on Hi Do’s cream cheese and Bywater Bakery’s Carnival. Both are delicious and are encouraging me to keep trying more, which is great for my taste buds but bad for my waistline.
Though I’ve told myself the adage that Carnival is a marathon, not a sprint, many times, I’m hoping this year it’ll stick. It feels like we haven’t had any time to recover from Christmas, let alone New Year’s, and we’re already pulling out our purple, green and gold. If you’re looking for a little something special to add to your Mardi Gras, look to our What’s Hot.
Valentine’s Day is right in the middle of our Carnival celebrations, so read our feature on restaurant specials and make your reservation now.
This issue also has our annual “Couture Wedding Guide.” So whether you’re planning your wedding, helping someone plan theirs or looking to plan a decadent party, read on for some tips, treats and tastes.
Enjoy Carnival – however you spend it – and take care of yourself and those around you!
Morgan Packard Griffith