Fat Tuesday in Portland: Eat Cajun and Creole food at USM


Fat Tuesday: Cook jambalaya, or let Portland chefs cook for me?

          On this church-quiet morning, thermometer reading negative eight degrees, I sit in my big red leather reading chair, pen in hand, coffee close by, wrapped in my favorite blue shawl and gaze out the huge slider windows at the bare trees. Not even the chickadees are awake yet, because if they were, they’d be at the feeder. As I write in my journal, I think about years past, as I tend to do these years.  I think about tomorrow. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, and for many years, my family observed all the traditions that go along with that impending forty days leading up to Easter. With my kids all “grown and flown,” as I say, I’ve gotten out of even letting Lent register, except for the eventual celebration of Easter.

          Being from New England, we didn’t celebrate Fat Tuesday.  I’ve never had the good fortune to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and don’t even have a loop of pretty beads to throw around my neck. And I have a million other things “to do” on my small yellow legal pad. But when I saw this event happening today at the University of Southern Maine, I let fate have her way and spontaneity be my guide. We are heading to Portland to have several local chefs cook for us and a few hundred other Mainers, live music and a festive atmosphere.  And maybe I can pick up a couple of necklaces of brightly-colored beads on the way.

Kate Cone

About Kate Cone

Kate Cone has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, is a freelance writer and the author of "What's Brewing in New England: A Guide to Brewpubs and Microbreweries," published by Downeast Publications in 1997. She is currently updating What's Brewing with a second book about New England craft beer to be published in 2015.