Yesterday, I started telling you about our daughter’s recent “Mardi Gras”-themed 11th birthday party. In addition to our beautiful “king cake”, we also had iced sugar cookies striped with purple, green, and yellow decorating sugar, fruit skewers with red and green grapes and yellow pineapple, Zapp’s Voodoo potato chips (made in New Orleans), and Muffuletta pinwheel sandwiches. The girls washed it all down with Barq’s Root Beer, which originated in, you guessed it, New Orleans.
A traditional muffuletta sandwich is made on a round loaf of bread topped with sesame seeds. It is layered with olive salad, mortadella, salami, ham, mozzarella, and provolone cheese. The girls insist on having one from Central Grocery every time we go to New Orleans, along with beignets from Café Du Monde. We decided to try to make a pinwheel sandwich in the style of a muffuletta sandwich. We chopped up green and kalamata olives in the food processor and stirred them into whipped cream cheese. Then we spread the cream cheese mixture onto large flour tortillas and topped with ham, salami, and provolone cheese. We rolled them up, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, stored them overnight in the refrigerator and then sliced them into pinwheels before serving. They were a huge hit.
When the guests arrived we had them make their own Mardi Gras masks and pose for photos. It’s impressive what girls can do with some feathers, glitter, jewels, and beads. The masks were beautiful.
We also played some Mardi Gras inspired party games. Instead of “hot potato” we played “Pass the Baby”. The girls stood in a circle with their backs facing the inside of the circle. When the music started they had to pass the baby around the circle and whoever was in possession of the baby when the music stopped was “out”. The game turned out much more exciting and violent (at least from the baby’s standpoint) than I had expected. The girls voted to repeat the game several more times even without prizes. We also played “freeze dance” to Mardi Gras music provided by Pandora. Who knew they had a New Orleans-style jazz channel? Not me, until the night before the party. The girls also enjoyed several rounds of “MARDI” (our revised version of BINGO). A memory tray which included items such as a fleur de lis, sheet music, a trolley car, beads, purple, yellow, and green crayons to name a few items. The girls got one minute to look at the items on the tray and then it was removed. They then had two minutes to write down as many items as they could remember. They also played: how many words can you make out of the letters in “Presley’s Mardi Gras Party” (19 in 3 minutes in case you were wondering).
All in all, I think it was a successful party and the guests left us with a little better understanding of New Orleans, its food, its music, and its celebrations. A whole lot of fun with some learning snuck in. What more could a parent hope for?