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Happy-Gourmand

Ready for Lent with opposite of ‘hair of the dog’ theory

Last hurrahs for winter

Next week will be the start of Lent, and around the world various Carnevale celebrations will take place. The culmination of the festivities is Mardi Gras – translated into English as “Fat Tuesday.” It’s not hard to tell why; to survive pre-Lenten festivities you need to be prepared to consume serious calories. 

With the exception of New Orleans, North America hasn’t taken up the custom of celebrating the pre-Lent days. However, across Europe and South America there are all kinds of raucous festivals complete with dazzling costumes and plenty of rich foods. 

We humans seem prone to extremes. Lent is all about penance and humility, but the theme of Carnevale is decadence and indulgence. One could argue that giving in to a last few temptations before submitting to the cause was a good reminder of what was proper. The opposite of the “hair of the dog” theory. 

Or perhaps the folks celebrating are not the ones who honour Lent at all. In today’s world, our circles intertwine and we experience all manner of traditions and beliefs around us. I like to understand the importance and the reverence that exists with any tradition, and if I have a chance to spend time with people who adhere to those beliefs then I think that makes me a bigger person. Bigger people have a larger capacity for accepting the world as a whole. 

You might think this is just an excuse to eat beignets and King Cake this time of year, and that’s fine. If the odd extra calorie is what inspires us to empathy, so be it. The world can use all the help it can get. 

In the interest of doing my part, here are a few suggestions to celebrate a bit of Mardi Gras or Carnevale tradition. 

  • Make a King Cake. It’s not complicated, and it’s big enough to share. 
  • Make homemade doughnuts. I’m posting my recipe as opposed to a traditional Mardi Gras version in honour of my dad, a fellow doughnut lover. He would have been 74 on Sunday. 
  • Host a masquerade party, in the Venetian Carnevale style. Be crazy for a night, before returning to your regular proper self for spring. 

And even if you’re not someone who participated in Lenten activities, you can still honour the concept of devotion and ponder how to honour the coming spring. New growth in the world could parallel new growth in each of us, as we work to bigger people and make our world a better place. 



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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