Laissez les bons temps rouler
Today is FAT Tuesday, the beginning of Mardi Gras … the day to eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday … the beginning Lent … and something has to be sacrificed.
Tradition has the King Cake as part of the celebration during Mardi Gras. There are many versions, flavors, sizes and shapes depending on the person baking it. What does not change is that it has a sugar-coated top in purple, green and gold. Also, tucked somewhere into the cake is a small figure of Baby Jesus. The name comes from honoring the Three Kings who sought out the Christ Child.
Much history and tradition surround King Cake, Mardi Gras, and hosting King Cake parties during the 47 days of Mardi Gras. The person who finds the baby in their slice is responsible for hosting the King Cake party for the following year!
This morning I did a mental head slap about 10:00 AM. Today is FAT Tuesday and we need to have a little beginning of Mardi Gras celebration in Central Texas. A quick phone call to the local HEB bakery found four King Cakes just waiting for me to bring them to campus.
I was able to go pick up the cakes and get them displayed on a table in the lounge just as PREK was there for lunch. The front office staff knew I was going to them and the word started spreading rapidly that there was cake in the lounge. Most people on campus had no idea today was FAT Tuesday, the implications of the day and the beginning of Mardi Gras. Texans by and large just celebrate football and rodeos … Louisiana is a foreign country to them. For some, this was the first King Cake they had ever seen much less eaten. HEB’s version was not the same as the lovely picture above, but got the job done nevertheless.
When our principal came in for her piece, she began cutting and immediately said, “This is really bad cake, tough, I can’t cut through it!” Several of use knew that she had found the baby and began laughing. She had no idea of the meaning of the baby but she was quickly enlightened!!!
The fun continued through everyone’s lunch period. Two other cakes cut and two other babies found. Lots of ‘fun comments’ and ‘I need to find out more about Mardi Gras’ floated through conversations. One piece of a fourth cake was cut, I don’t know if the baby was in that piece or not…tomorrow will be true confessions time. The remainder of that fourth cake will be placed in the lounge in the morning to go with early morning coffee. Too bad we don’t have the wonderful Cafe’ Au Lait from Cafe DuMonde to go with it!
So all in all, a good bit of fun was had, a bit of history learned, and it was a day when ~ Laissez les bons temps rouler ~ Let the good times roll ~ was alive and kicking! If this is the only French you know, please use it wisely!
Always, I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you LOVE. Happy FAT Tuesday!
As Ever, Annie
First Posted 2/12/2013