There’s nothing quite like a nice Sunday with friends and a pot of gumbo. Ok, make that a couple of hundred friends and over a dozen pots of delicious gumbo, some tasty King cakes, and a fun Mardi Gras atmosphere!
Last year my wife and I went for the first time to the Tennessee Equality Project’s annual gumbo cooking competition. This fundraiser helps out TEP in their efforts in supporting LGBT issues in the state. Anyone can help the cause by buying a ticket, sampling dozens of yummy gumbos, and voting for their favorite. When I went last year I was kicking myself, thinking that this would have been a great opportunity to take Katie out on the town and show support for our good friend, Nathan, who was competing in the event. I made a commitment that this year would be different, and my goodness was it ever!
As this event was a contest/Mardi Gras party, I of course had to break out my good ol’ glue gun and put together some fun and colorful accessories for the event. I knew I wanted to dress up my new hair, so I threw together a nice headpiece, which ended up getting a lot of positive attention. Oh, since my last post I took advantage of some great online deals and got myself a wonderful new wig called Heidi by Jon Renau, and I absolutely love her! 🙂
This year, my wife and I were more than happy to help Nathan out in setting up for the event, transporting some chairs, tables, gumbos, rice, drinks, and many, many King cakes! I made sure to plan accordingly in advance, so I had some nice comfortable flats to help haul everything from the car, and some nice booties for when the paying public started to arrive.
As a general trend, especially with my trip up to the Twin Cities last November, I was much less stressed out or anxious than ever before. The more and more one does this, the easier and less stressful it becomes. I was happy to meet some of the others enlisted by Nathan to help out, and also happy and relaxed to walk around the event floor, meeting so many new people. My good friend Gabby, who knows a ton of people around town introduced me to anyone she knew, and I was more than happy to strike up a conversation.
One of the big things I realize now after a couple of days thinking about the evening was how I kept wanting to walk around the room and interact with people. Nathan’s team, called “Rouxlin’ On The River” had a table set up with chairs, and I could have sat there most of the night, near the table with people I knew, but I instead wanted to keep circling the room to see what would happen. I was stopped a few times by random people for photos, many gave me warm compliments, and others a wonderful smile. In other words, I didn’t think I’d want to put myself out there like that, and as an introvert I usually wouldn’t do that, but damn that was fun! Human interaction…who knew it could be so much fun! LOL 🙂
By the end of the night, I had made some great new friends, met a bunch of new people, and we were all happy and proud for Nathan for receiving third place for his turducken gumbo, which was to die for! What an amazing cook! Congratulations to him for a job well done!!
Much love to all,