Monday, January 28, 2013

Mardi Gras Table

When we moved to Baton Rouge in the early 1990s, we were astonished by the culture in south Louisiana.  It was as if we'd moved to a different country, not just another southern state.  One of the most surprising revelations was that Mardi Gras was a SEASON, not just one day.  Starting right after Christmas (on Epiphany), there were parties and parades and king cakes.  Lots of king cakes!  The tradition in my department at LSU was that whoever found the baby in the king cake had to bring the next king cake -- the next day.  So king cake was available almost every day, right up until the last work day before the long Mardi Gras break.  (LSU had Monday through noon Ash Wednesday off.  Miss that!)

After eight years there, we moved to Texas, and our area doesn't really celebrate Mardi Gras.  But I have wanted to set a Mardi Gras table and finally did so this year.  I was stymied in the past by a lack of purple in my tablescaping supplies, but a recent trip to Sur la Table in Austin remedied that.  Just inside the front door, in a Final Clearance basket, was a set of purple napkins marked at 50% off the lowest marked price.  I was able to shop the house for everything else.

Now, this table is quite tame by Mardi Gras standards.  But by The Dull and the Dutiful standards, it is highly festive!
The centerpiece -- a hurricane filled with Mardi Gras beads in the traditional colors of green, gold, and purple, and some sparkly frou-frou garland.  Note the fancier necklaces draped over the chair backs.
The purple napkins!  I think the fringe complements the garland.  The simple placesetting consists of a gold charger, white plate, and our silver flatware.
An across-the-table view of the necklace featuring crawfish.
I had purple candles on hand left over from the Advent wreath, so I jazzed them up with some Mardi Gras beads.
My vintage Anchor Hocking "Burple" glasses have proven to be wonderfully versatile and provided the perfect green.
This necklace features alligators, if you can't tell.
Another view of the table:
On the menu?  Sensation salad, jambalaya, French bread, and king cake, of course!  Y'all stop by and we'll laissez les bon temps rouler!

I'll be linking to Let's Dish at Cuisine Kathleen and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

24 comments:

  1. Love it, Tricia! That garland it really great - I have never seen one like it and the alligator necklace is special, too. That made me smile!!

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  2. Tricia, this is so festive and the menu sounds delicious. What time is dinner? Great necklaces. ;-)

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  3. What a great table, Tricia! Finding the purple napkins was clearly meant to be. I love the centerpiece and the necklaces draped on the chairs especially, and am always happy for an excuse to admire the Burple glassware! Are you going to serve Hurricanes or Mai Tais in them?

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  4. ove your festive Mardi Gras table! Your menu sounds wonderful! We almost never even hear of Mardi Gras here in Virginia.....but I'm always up for a fun tabletop party! Thanks for your visit.

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  5. You could guess that my favorite thing about Mardi Gras is the colors. Your table is so pretty and those vibrant purples and greens are just wonderful. We had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans once and I have to say it is like a different country. The food was out of this world and of course I was in love with the architecture. What a fun table and menu. It makes a party for the eyes!

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  6. Your table looks so festive. We're only a little bit over an hour's drive away from Baton Rouge so Mardi gras is heavily celebrated here too....Christine

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  7. Great table and I'd love to come by for your Mardi Gras party. The menu sounds wonderful!!

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  8. Very festive table! I agree, the napkins were placed where you would see them...great glassware. Thanks for sharing, Tricia.

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  9. Very festive indeed. I love the necklaces on the chairs. I love anything with a Louisiana flare and this table certainly has flare! Dianne

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  10. Wonderful purple napkins! We have been having storms, and my intent is still spotty. Love the table!

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  11. So festive, don't you just LOVE Mari Gras!!
    Jenna

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  12. Honestly...it just never even occurred to me until last year when a couple of people told me that Mardi Gras was not celebrated where they live. I live in Missouri and, even though we are not a Southern state, I think Mardi Gras gets a lot of play here. I've never been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras season, though, so you have experienced the REAL DEAL!!! If I at King's Cake every day, I'd be big as a house!!! But those folks in Louisiana sure can cook, can't they?!! I was watching something on "Inside Edition" tonight about New Orleans and all the restaurants there and Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl....I wish I could be there!!!! I have a friend here who specializes in Cajun cooking, and so that's how I get my fix! OK...on to your table! You did a good job! It has that Mardi Gras look, baby!!! I would love to get my hands on a bunch of those alligator necklaces! Those are fun! Have a great weekend, my sweet!

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  13. I can see where moving to Baton Rouge would seem like another country, but it looks like you've gotten used to it. While I don't do a lot of Mardi Gras decor, the stores around here are full of it. Kings cakes are everywhere so I get my fix without doing much.

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  14. I laughed when I read that your table was "highly festive" by your standards! Funny! I think it looks very nice!

    We don't hear or see much about Mardi Gras here in Ohio. I've been to New Orleans, but never during Mardi Gras. I never eaten King Cake either. I actually looked for some in our grocery stores but didn't see any. I may try making one myself, just so I can say I've tried it.

    LOVE your green glasses!!!

    Warm Hugs,
    Rett

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  15. I do love this recipe for a wonderfully great time! Loving those purple napkins, a whole whole lot. Your table makes me want some good cajun food, string on some beads and have a great time. In Germany, they have something very similar and it lasts for a long time! theirs starts on 11/11/ at 11. So lots of time to live it up till Lent. xo marlis

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  16. I have no idea what a king cake is, but I guess I'd better learn! There are only six states I haven't visited, and three of them are LA, MS, and AL. I certainly hope to, in the future. I think your table is very festive, and those napkins are the most beautiful shade of purple. The glasses do work well, and the necklaces are so cute!

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  17. It looks so festive! I have never been to Mardi Gras. Actually, I've never even been to Louisiana. I've always thought it would be an adventure. Your table is festive and matches what I see in my head when I think of Mardi Gras. I love those necklaces you have draped over the chairs. The beads in the centerpiece and garland look perfect in the center, too.

    I used to do a king cake with my students on Epiphany many years ago. Since your office did it every day, wouldn't it be horrible if you kept getting the king? ACK!

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  18. Festive table! I love your glasses! I live about 40 miles north of Baton Rouge and, it's true, Mardi Gras is more of a season! Blessings, Tammy

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  19. Exactly what ingredients are in a King Cake? I've seen them here in the grocery store and thought they were so pretty. Love the colors that are used. Never been to New Orleans or Mardi Gras..just saw the drunken party goes and I get disgusted. i would probably love the parade. I love your tablescape and purple is one of my favorite colors..that color purple is great! Did you already have the wine or water glasses or have to buy them? Exactly when is Mardi Gras celebration? I know it's sometime in Feb. isn't it?

    Thanks for sharing the photos of your tablescape with us followers/readers/fans. This tablescape is very inspirational and it doesn't look like you broke the bank. May I ask where you got that color of wine or water glasses?

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    1. Sorry! I should have given more details. A king cake is made from a yeast dough, which is rolled out, filled with some kind of sweet filling (my favorite is cream cheese with cinnamon and brown sugar), then formed into a ring. After baking, it's iced with a powdered sugar-milk icing and sprinkled with sugar in purple, green, and gold. Yes, the main parades can be wild -- we tended to stick to the hometown parades through neighborhoods that were kid-friendly. Mardi Gras's date varies like Easter's does -- always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The green glasses were my husband's grandparents' and were collected as premiums from detergent (or perhaps other products). They are Anchor Hocking Burple, if you want to check them out on Replacements.com.

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  20. Love your Mardi Gras tablescape! I live about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in a little town called Prairieville and have two degrees from LSU. My daughter graduates from there this May.

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  21. Tricia, this is so much fun. Love those Burple glasses. The purple napkins add the perfect splash of purple, and how fun are those necklaces on the chairs. Have a great weekend. laurie

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  22. Great table...love the new napkins and a bargain to boot. Love the Mardi Gras colors and you've used them beautifully!

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  23. Those napkins are so pretty! Very festive, T! Did people get sick of King's Cake by the end?

    Thanks so much for linking to Let's Dish!

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