THE GAME: Lakers vs Hornets
At this point of my life, in my 30s, I don't think there is any scenario in which I would go to Mardi Gras. But that's okay.
Because I went when I was 21, and it was fucking awesome.
Pretty much every year since then, I have made a dinner on Mardi Gras as an homage to that week of debauchery I had all those years ago. Last night was no different.
NOTES ON THE FOOD:
- I used to take the time to batter or bread my own fresh shrimp before frying. It was time consuming and made quite a mess, but I was willing to deal with the inconvenience, because frying frozen shrimp sucks. Then I discovered the Whole Catch label at Whole Foods. They are not only the best frozen breaded shrimp I have ever had, they are the only ones I would call delicious.
- I whipped up a remoulade: mayo, chopped pickles, horseradish, paprika, and a few drops of both pickle juice and Texas Champagne hot sauce. (Normally I like to add some Zatarain's creole mustard as well, but I had just used up the last of mine the night before in an attempt to make a spicy honey mustard - which turned out to be the second-worst condiment I have ever created.)
- I sluiced the inside of a soft white roll with the remoulade, tucked in some lettuce, and layered pickles on top.
- The shrimp fried up in less than three minutes, and then I let them rest for an equal amount of time. Shrimp meat cooks extremely quickly in hot oil; it's always better to pull out too soon than too late. (Um... I'm sure there's a better way to phrase that.)
- And then finally a few more shakes of Texas Champagne.
- It was the best po' boy I have ever made at home.
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- If the Hornets trotted out Kemba Walker and four parking lot attendants, would you know the difference? I honestly can't tell you who else starts for Charlotte. I assume Nicolas Batum, but I don't know for sure.
- It turns out, Frank Kaminsky starts for them, too.
- I actually had a teal Charlotte Hornets t-shirt that I wore frequently when I was 13 years old. But I cannot remember why. Maybe I was a Mike Gminski fan?
- It doesn't seem right that Mozgov is making 15 times what Zubac is making.
- The Lakers are 2-9 on three-pointers so far, and they're still leading by 4. Come on, guys, these are the kind of games you have to... lose...
- Damn, Randle is having a solid first half.
- I don't think +/- is the be-all and end-all of stats, but it is instructive. And every Lakers starter is in the positive in the first half; every Lakers reserve is in the negative. It's hard to win games at this level with bench play like that. (Not that I'm pretending the Lakers are trying to win games at this point.)
- Halfway through the 3rd quarter, Swaggy P has zero rebounds, zero assists, zero steals and zero blocks... but he's hit a couple of three-pointers so he's dancing around like they just won the Western Conference Finals.
- Russell to Ingram for the two-hand overhead jam. I can't believe people wanted to trade Ingram for Boogie Cousins. Do you realize Igram is 7 years younger than Boogie, not to mention Golden State has the West locked up for the next two years? [EDIT: This assumes KD is healthy come playoff time.] Everything the Lakers do now has to be with an eye on three or four years down the road. It sucks, but that's the hole they dug for themselves by choosing to re-sign an aging ballhog to the largest contract in the league and then letting two All-Star 7-footers walk away with nothing to show for it.
- Corey Brewer steals the ball and takes it all the way to the hoop. That's the best play I've seen him make since... hell, since college.
- The game ends, Lakers lose by 5, and Luke Walton basically asks Nick Young "What the hell were you doing there?" Swaggy P just laughs. I mean, I don't really care, I just want the Lakers to hang on to their draft pick in June... but once this team gets serious about winning, Young has to be gone. (Just for the record, after 30 minutes, he still didn't have a single rebound, assist, steal or block.)
- Happy Mardi Gras.