Now that I have your attention, Fat Tuesday is tomorrow and I’m a bad Catholic for not realizing it until last week. So, naturally, I concocted grandiose plans to celebrate Mardi Gras before giving something up for 40 days. A brief update: It’s Sunday night as I’m typing this and I don’t have a single clue of what to give up. But I traditionally leave these decisions to the very last minute.
In third grade religion class, my teacher Sister Geraldine had us go around the room and say what we were giving up for Lent. The exercise soon devolved into a pissing contest (a phrase I hate but nonetheless, a very accurate description) as each person tried to out-do the person before them. I was planning to give up pop but lo and behold, pop was soon spoken for and I was left racking my brain for a Lenten substitute. Finally, it was my turn and panicked, this 9-year-old declared, “CHOCOLATE!”
And it was done. I was giving up chocolate for 40 days. My honor and pride were riding on this decision.
A couple of days later, at a Chinese raffle, my mother won a basket. What was the basket’s theme? Chocolate Lover’s. I kid you not.
As a 9 year old who took religion class every day, this was a surefire, honest-to-goodness sign that the Lord was testing me. I mean, how else could the whole situation be explained? Also, the chocolate basket knew my name and would call to me. So that was a fun 40 days.
Flash forward twelve years, and instead of religion class at Nativity of Our Lord School, I was in an entirely different classroom: New Orleans. Two of my housemates and I ventured down to NOLA to celebrate Mardi Gras and see the parades, the costumes and the humanity. And let me tell you, I saw a LOT of humanity if you know what I mean.
For several days, it was a whirlwind of activities, sights, dishes and drinks. My friend’s dad had told us to be careful at Pat O’Brien’s with their Hurricanes so naturally, we went there first thing at 11 am. Two Hurricanes later, we were in a pretty happy spot let me tell you. Wandering through the French Quarter, we eventually stumbled upon the iconic Cafe Du Monde.
I had to get my tipsy little hands on a beignet. Like, HAD to. Life-or-death scenario here, folks.
Biting into a beignet is a religious experience. And this wasn’t the Hurricane(s) talking. Fried dough topped with sweet confectioner’s sugar. You really can’t go wrong. It was love at first bite.
If I was a smart 21 year old, I would have picked up a beignet mix to bring back home so I could whip up beignets anytime I wanted. But I was not as far-thinking and strategic then, it was going to be another few months before I typed up my first post on DC Girl. Crazy to think about.
While these beignets are no Cafe Du Monde, they do make life (and a Hurricane hangover) a little more bearable.
Pillsbury biscuits make this beignet recipe easy. All you need is 3 ingredients, including the biscuits, to transport you to NOLA, celebrating Mardi Gras like a carefree 21-year-old.
If I could go back to New Orleans in a heartbeat, I would. I immediately fell head over heels for the city’s charm and there is still so much of the city I’d love to explore. At the risk of getting too cheesy on you, if there was a city that seemed like a place where magical things could happen, it’s New Orleans.
I mean, magic is the only explanation for how these beignets disappeared so quickly…right?
1 package Pillsbury Biscuits
1 container canola oil
In a deep skillet or pot, heat up the canola oil on medium heat. After about 5 minutes, test the oil by dropping a small piece of dough into the oil. If bubbles immediately start forming around the dough, the oil is good to go.
Slice the biscuits in half so they are half-circles and drop them into the hot oil in batches of about 4 pieces at a time. The batch size will depend on the size of your pot, you don’t want to overcrowd the pot.
The biscuits are ready when they are golden on both sides. Remove the biscuit from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a plate covered in a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Once the biscuits are cooled down, sift confectioner’s sugar to cover the biscuit. Enjoy!
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