Thursday, Feb 12
When it comes to food, nothing says “Mardi Gras” quite like King Cake. I attended college with many Louisiana natives whose parents would mail King Cakes up to school during the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras. As far as this East Coast girl knew, these Southerners just couldn’t wrap up Ordinary Time without a traditional King Cake. Once I tasted a slice, I immediately understood why. Ooooey, gooey, sweet, soft, colorful King Cake is in a class by itself when it comes to baked goods. When our oldest children were about five and six, I remember searching on line for a place to order an authentic Louisianian King Cake to have shipped up here to Virginia. Unfortunately, I didn’t plan ahead, so it would have been costly to purchase one online. So I settled for one from our local grocery store and, well, it was pretty bad. I suppose there is a bakery somewhere in D.C. where I could find a better King Cake, but who has time for that? So I reached out to a friend whose husband is from Southern Louisiana to ask her what she was doing to satisfy his craving for King Cake (they live in Ohio) and she provided me with the following delicious and relatively simple recipe:
If you’ve baked bread before, then you should be able to pull this off without a problem. However, if it’s your first time, I recommend reading through the instructions a couple of times before diving in. It’s all about following the directions for allowing your dough to rise, punching it down, and allowing it to rise again, so make sure you carve out plenty of time for this endeavor. Believe me when I say that it’s worth the work. It’s become a fun and festive way for our family to celebrate Mardi Gras in our home.
When it comes down to it, Louisianians really know how to celebrate, well, everything. I have never had the opportunity to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but I enjoyed a one night stay in the French Quarter with The Hubs before my best friend Jenny got married. You can read about our visit to the French Quarter HERE. Baking a King Cake each year for Mardi Gras is just a tiny way for me to introduce our children to a little bit of New Orleans culture. And then when the kids go to sleep, perhaps The Hubs and I will enjoy a cocktail like the ones we had on our trip. Unfortunately, no matter how many times we’ve attempted to mix one ourselves, there truly is nothing like a Pimm’s Cup from Napoleon House in the French Quarter.
Enjoy these last days of Ordinary Time, folks! Lent with all of its sacrificing and mortification will be here soon and then, well, life as we know it will be over for forty days.
No, I don’t want to be that girl! I want to be this girl!