Mardi Gras translates from the French to English as Fat Tuesday. It's the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. In France, where I spent 13 years of my youth, celebrations were not anything like the wild celebrations associated with New Orleans. Even in Germany, the Fasching partying is a bit more demure (but not much)! Nonetheless, it was a time of feasting and parades and parties.
For our private celebration, I've chosen a piece of hand-dyed velvet for a table covering in a lush shade of green. Green, purple and gold are the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. Green for faith, Purple for justice and Gold for power.
The color variations in the velvet are what bring the hand dyed piece to life.
A simple place setting consisting of a not quite bright green charger, a gold rimmed plate, a gold napkin rolled into a sausage and folded, a crystal salad bowl, gold flatware and many strands of beads.
Crystal for a bit of champagne and sip of wine.
Masks are a must. Although it's difficult to find the nice feather bedecked ones here, a bit of glitter glue on some plain Jane ones is a fair substitution.
To replace the missing stand, I used a larger votive bowl filled with more beads to hold the amber vase, a gift from a dear friend of mine. Crystal candle holders with a bit of gold on them and adorned with candle decor. The ring of ornaments slides over the candle and rests on the candle holder.
Fresh flowers are such a nice touch.
I hope you enjoyed the brief Mardi Gras party. How did you celebrate?
Saffron Crawfish Risotto Recipe
If you do not have access to crawfish, substitute shrimp in this saffron rice risotto. The key to good risotto is adding the liquid in increments, and stirring often.
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 pinch saffron or turmeric
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1-1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 pound cooked and peeled crawfish tails
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Preparation:Cook onions in butter in large skillet over medium-high heat until soft. Add rice and saffron; stir 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; stir until absorbed.
Stir in 1 cup broth; cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding remaining 1 cup broth and 3 cups water, allowing each to be absorbed before adding another, until rice is tender and mixture has a creamy consistency. It will take approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
Stir in peas, crawfish, Parmesan cheese, salt, cream, lemon juice, and hot pepper sauce. Cook until risotto is thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes.
If crawfish is unavailable, substitute deveined medium shrimp.
Yield: 6 servings
Recipe Source: USA Rice Council
Cast of Characters:
Hand-dyed Velvet - a quilt show somewhere
Olive-y green chargers - Hobby Lobby years ago
Gold rimmed dinner plates - Rosenthal
Crystal bowls - gift
Crystal champagne and wine -Libbey Rock Sharpe
Gold flatware - International
Napkins - Pier One
Vase - gift
Base for the vase - Mikasa Cheers votive holder
Candle holders - Home Goods
Green tea light holders - Crate and Barrel
Beads courtesy of our son and I'm not asking!! Thanks sweetie.
Thank you so much for dropping in. I so enjoyed your visit and hope you did too. I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday and to Designs by Gollum Foodie Friday. Please go check out the lovelies presented there just for you!