Thursday, January 6, 2011


Today is Epiphany, which as a good little Baptist girl I'm not supposed to celebrate, the day the Wise Men came to see Jesus. But I do. When I do decorate for Christmas, this is tradionally the day I take it all down. No worries this year. I didn't decorate. It's also a  part of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Most people think the Twelve Days marks the days before Christmas Day. It's not. It's the 12 days from Christmas Day to Epiphany.

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,, 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.


Denise said...

The last time I was in New Orleans was about 30 years ago. This is such a fun post for me to read as it brings back a lot of good memories. The King Cake is a great tradition. Thanks for all the links.

Siobhan said...

I don't get it--why wouldn't you celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany if you are Baptist? I know other Protestant faiths do. ? I'm being respectfully curious, btw! I know a lot of Baptist traditions & beliefs but hadn't thought that wouldn't be celebrated. I know one thing... I sure was cheated out of some serious eating!! LOL Not only that, but just last year I discovered that The Feast of the Epiphany is called Nollaig na mBan--Women's Christmas--where the men take on the household duties and the women take the day off. It's more prevalent in the southern most counties in the country, and of course, my husband grew up an hour away from the most northern point in Ireland. I'm trying very slowly to revive the custom in our house, though. ;)

Happy new year!! Eat some extra cake for me. You had me at Buttercream Frosting.

Alice said...

Women's Christmas? I am intrigued!

I am Catholic and for me Epiphany is basically the last possible day I let myself procrastinate taking down Christmas. (otherwise it might stick around for the rest of the year too)

I am checking out that King cake... cream cheese yum!

Linens and Royals said...

King cake! never heard of it but it does sound delicious. I made a Simnel cake for Easter once. Expensive ingredients, a lot of trouble to make and the family didn't like it much. Never again.
I take my xmas decorations down New Years day, I've had enough of them by then.

Jan said...

I am finishing up the tearing down of the Christmas decor today...I knew it was the Epiphany, but that isn't why I was doing it, I am just late.

Have a wonderful New Year, Marian! I love your progress on the Family Sampler.

FancyHorse said...

Hmmm, I've been getting my King Cake at the wrong place! Delchamps, a Mobile grocery store that expanded at least as far as Birmingham. It was years ago (Delchamps no longer exists), and I wasn't impressed.

I had never heard of lemon King Cake, nor "real" icing on them!

Donna said...

How much fun is that? And so tasty too! I know Mardi Gras is just a little (HA!) raunchy, but sometimes a girl just has to have fun!