It's also the beginning of carnival season here in south Louisiana. Don't think I'm supposed to do that either, but I do love the costumes and all the other stuff that comes with the festivities. It all leads up to Mardi Gras, the chief party day of the year down here.
But the best part of all this: from now until Lent------KING CAKE! A delight for the eyes and treat for the taste buds. I made one one year. It was great, but cost a LOAD of money. It's easier and cheaper to buy one. You can go "cheap" and buy one at Albertson's or Winn Dixie, but your best bet is one from Cake Palace or, especially, one from a bakery in New Orleans. I'm not a chocky person, so the Zulu cake is lost on me. My favorite is lemon-especially if it has cream cheese with it. The praline cakes are good. Blueberry, strawberry.......apple, Creole cream cheese, plain cinnamon....Oh, Lord!
They may be shipped anyway-expensive, or course, but well worth it. Always comes with goodies. A few beads. Maybe a coin or two. And a plastic baby. It's pushed into the bottom of the cake somewhere, and the person who finds it brings the next King Cake to work, party, whatever.
The sugar on top (or buttercream frosting if you're lucky) is always alternating colors of green, purple and gold--the Mardi Gras colors.
Okay, I'm addicted!!!!
Here are some sites with more info. The last is a link to Randazzo's Bakery in New Orleans. I know they're expensive-and the price includes shipping-but for a once-a-year treat it's worth it.