Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pre-Mardi Gras

Direct from Louisiana

My good friend and co-worker, Chuck Taggart, had a King Cake delivered direct from Haydel's Bakery in New Orleans today! Yummmmmmmmm! Chuck was kind enough to share it with us at the office today.

Chuck
Chuck and Ron (Kevin in background)
From the Haydel's website, here's the history of the King Cake: In New Orleans' revelry and religious tradition are the ties that bind during Mardi Gras. Thus, it's not surprising that the origin of the modern King Cake can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when popular devotion during Christmas turned to the Three Wise Men, or Kings, who had followed a star and paid homage to Christ. Epiphany, the end of the Christmas celebration and the 12th night after the birth of Christ, came to be known as "Twelfth Night," a time for pageants and giving special "King" presents to children. Today in New Orleans, the King Cake is an oval-shaped braided coffee cake which is decorated with cinnamon sugar in the official Mardi Gras colors - gold (for power), green (faith), and purple (justice) - and contains a tiny plastic baby that has replaced the coin used in medieval times. The person who gets the slice of cake with the baby in it must host the next party; at some parties, they are crowned king or queen.
The cake, a gift shared by family, friends and revelers alike, is eaten between the Twelfth Night and Fat Tuesday, the beginning of Lent. However, the cake often begins appearing during Christmas.
It's a tradtion, that whoever gets the piece of cake with the "baby" baked inside will bring the King Cake next year. So happens, Chuck got that piece today, but he quickly gave it to Ron! I love how Haydel's just stuck the baby on the bottom of the cake instead of actually baking it inside. On second thought, maybe this is a better idea, since the baby is made from plastic and would probably melt. Older traditions had the baby made out of ceramic. Also, it was custom to use a bean instead of a baby.
Lucky Ron
Haydel's includes a complimentary collectible statue of a New Orleans figure with each cake, in addition to Mardi Gras beads, doubloons and a written history of the King Cake. Thanks for the treat, Chuck!
This year's collectible statue is a Baker
I just might see if I can bake up a delicious coffee/King cake for Fat Tuesday this year. The decorating is the fun part!
This weekend at the Original Farmers Market there will be a two-day pre-Fat Tuesday celebration with Louisiana music, food, costumes, masks, beads, etc. This is the 20th anniversary of this celebration at the Market. We've been there every single year. In fact, Larry and I post-poned our wedding date in 1992, because it interfered with the Farmers Market Mardi Gras. Larry and I will be there both days and we plan to pass a mighty fine time! Hope to see you too!

Larry's Crocheted Mardi Gras Crown

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9 Comments:

At 8:56 PM PST, Blogger LizKnits said...

love the crown... hope you have a great Mardi Gras celebration!

 
At 10:29 AM PST, Anonymous Christine G. said...

I hope that we will make it to FM this weekend. I'm crocheting up a silly twisty scarf in Mardi Gras colors, and it's coming out pretty cute.

Hope to catch you there!

 
At 12:49 PM PST, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

I love Mardi Gras - except the crowds. One of these days, I'm gonna take a valium and actually attend the FM MG event!!!

 
At 7:53 PM PST, Blogger ChelleC said...

I love the Granny Square bag and am so glad you're about to finish it!

 
At 7:40 PM PST, Blogger Anna said...

I knew that cake looked familiar!
Galette des Rois for Epiphany

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/01/baking-with-dorie-galette-des-rois-recipe.html

It's called a bean (feve) but it's mostly now a teeny figurine. Last year we got a little plastic skidoo guy.

Tasty looking cake but I think the decorator might have drunk too many hurricanes already!

Lassez le bon temp roulez! Happy Fat Tuesday!
Regards from Canada,

AuntyA

 
At 7:57 PM PST, Anonymous jane's bed and breakfast said...

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At 7:04 AM PDT, Anonymous victorian heart quilts said...

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At 7:22 AM PDT, Anonymous mercedes grill said...

looks like you guys had lots of fun. i miss mardi gras!

 
At 7:24 AM PDT, Anonymous investment policy statement said...

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