A quasi writer avoiding life through Zen meditation and grain alcohol

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

English PeasLong before I became a New Englander I was a native of the south, specifically southern Florida. And as anyone who’s either lived in or even just visited the south can attest, no one throws a party better than a southerner (back me up here, Dayton). Because in the south a party isn’t just a party- it’s a balls-out drunken feeding frenzy of Bacchanalian proportion. I blame the heat.

It should come as no surprise that the southern party of the year, Mardi Gras, is celebrated in the party Mecca better known as New Orleans, Louisiana. French for “Fat Tuesday,” Mardi Gras reflects the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

Fat Tuesday, my friends, just happens to be today.

It is a tradition on Fat Tuesday to bake a very elaborate dessert called a King Cake. The king cake of the Louisiana tradition comes in a number of styles. The most simple, said to be the most traditional, is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll-style dough topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring. King cakes may also be filled with additional foodstuffs- the most common being cream cheese, praline, cinnamon, or strawberry.

King_Cake_BabyFor me, the best part of the King Cake is the secret baby hidden inside.

“Traditionally, a small plastic or porcelain baby is hidden into the king cake. It is usually green, gold, or purple to represent the colors of the holiday. Originally, the baby was placed into the cake to symbolize baby Jesus. Fava beans were also used to represent Jesus.

Today, the baby symbolizes luck and prosperity to whoever finds it in his/her slice of cake. In some traditions, the finder of the baby is designated “king” or “queen” for the evening. That person is also responsible for purchasing next year’s cake, or for throwing the next Mardi Gras party.”

There is a Reapers story in there somewhere, I know it.

Instead of this complicated treat I am going to pass along my new favorite recipe by fellow blogger Eggton called “Kanye West’s Apple Butter Cake Idea.” This is truly one of the best cakes I’ve ever had and is infinitely easier to make than a King Cake. Pair it with Eggton’s decadent derby girl ice cream or heavenly Almond Joy ice cream and you’ve got a dessert combination worthy of Mardi Gras. I’m getting “Fat” just thinking about it.

For those of you buried under an avalanche of snow, this southern tradition is the perfect treat for a bit of heat. So put down your shovels and let the good times roll!

date-de-Mardi-Gras

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35 responses

  1. I didn’t know Kanye West could do anything but sit and admire his assumed awesomehood. Who knew?

    Also, a cake with a baby inside. That’s not creepy at all…

    February 17, 2015 at 8:26 am

    • In a creep contest between a plastic, naked baby meant to represent the Lord and Savior of a major religion baked into a cake and Kanye, I’d say Kanye wins, hands down.

      February 17, 2015 at 8:36 am

      • Perfect product for Yeezy, except I don’t trust his judgment when it comes to clean coochie.

        February 17, 2015 at 9:30 am

        • You went there.

          February 17, 2015 at 8:47 pm

  2. H. E.,

    While I generally try not to engage in regionalism, or, actually, ANY isms of a divisive nature I can avoid, (e.g. national-, gender-, etc.), I have to mention, some of the parties I’ve attended here in Northern Cali, especially in The Valley of the Moon, have been pretty righteous, equal to any I saw in Florida during my sentence, er, visit there….

    I think we can just chalk all of it up to two aphorisms (my favorite isms), to wit:

    All God’s chillun like to party….

    and,

    All God’s chillun like to get high….

    Ever notice how wild animals will eat cannabis when they’re stressed?

    Party on, dudette!

    gigoid, the dubious

    February 17, 2015 at 9:08 am

    • I’ve heard you NoCal guys know how to party. SoCal guys, on the other hand, wouldn’t know a party if it sat on their faces. 😉

      February 17, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      • I couldn’t make up my mind which way to take this, so, I’ll just say, good one… Okay, just one…

        I’ve heard that. I myself did, er, do, er, would, that’s it… would know one… In fact, I own a snorkel, for nights just like that…

        😉

        gigoid

        February 17, 2015 at 11:23 pm

        • My comment was meant more as a good-natured dig at southern California native BrainRants than at you or at Pouring My Art Out.

          Wait…is San Francisco considered northern California? I’ll have to ask him.

          You’d like PMAO. He’s good people.

          February 18, 2015 at 2:23 pm

          • Not to worry….My bad; I couldn’t make up my mind because there were too many choices of how to play off it; I had no worries about any digs; I figured it was in fun…

            SF is definitely Northern California; most figure the dividing line around Bakersfield, in that huge valley down the center of the state, and a bit north of Santa Barbara, on the coast… at a place called Gaviota Beach… Of course, then there are the Central California folks, who like to say they’re different from either north or south, and may be right.

            I’ll try to check out PMAO’s site one of these days, when I’m out surfing…. it’s rare, though….

            see ya….

            February 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

            • No worries. Stop by when you can. I hope you like Photoshop… 😉

              February 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

  3. Centaureg

    Yes, having been raised Catholic (something I abstained from forever at 21) I am familiar with the concept of transubstantiation and “eating the body of Christ” at communion, but “eating the baby of Christ” sounds incredibly ghoulish. That aside, Almond Joy Ice Cream on top of a praline-centered cinnamon cake sounds like a “Fat Week” not just a “Fat Tuesday” or a recipe for instant diabetic coma, but what a way to go.

    February 17, 2015 at 10:31 am

    • I am a nuclear-level lapsed Catholic, so I know from which you speak.

      I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I control the amount of sugar by making my own desserts. That said, the AJ ice cream is worth its weight in insulin.

      February 17, 2015 at 8:54 pm

  4. Is it Lent already? Jesus, I need to get on that. Every year I give up “Lent” for lent. I’ll start tomorrow, hopefully God’s not mad.
    I have never been to Mardi Gras… Sadly enough. Like quite a few northerners, the deep south scares the bejesus out of me.
    We just fly in and out of Orlando once in a while to take the kids to Disneyworld. Does that even count?
    I’m going to need a King Cake though. That looks way tasty.

    February 17, 2015 at 11:00 am

    • The trips to Orlando don’t really count, but take my word for it when I say that you aren’t missing much.

      And who wouldn’t want to eat a cake painted up in high school basketball colors? I know I do!

      February 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm

  5. Did you just say something sexy about lesbians in French???

    February 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm

  6. ^HAHAHAHA…^ I love cake…

    February 17, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    • ESPECIALLY WITH A HIDDEN BABY JESUS INSIDE!!!

      February 17, 2015 at 8:59 pm

  7. Cake and baby Jesus. And the South in the winter. You bet!

    February 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    • That’s right…you live in that part of the US where people off themselves during winter.

      DON’T GO TOWARD THE LIGHT!!!

      February 17, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      • Not to worry–i’m staying on the dark side of things!

        February 25, 2015 at 7:17 pm

  8. Yep. The south in general and Florida in particular has long been known for some epic partying. Tampa has a thing every year, the “Gasparilla Pirate Festival,” that’s been something of a wannabe Mardis Gras thing for years.

    February 18, 2015 at 1:29 am

    • I’ve heard of that! The retirement community that is my hometown of West Palm Beach parties like it’s 1899.

      February 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      • Well, that conjures disturbing imagery.

        “Jiggle it…just a little bi…okay, let it roll.”

        February 19, 2015 at 12:09 am

        • Yeah. Thanks for that image.

          February 19, 2015 at 7:13 pm

          • It helps deaden the pain if I share it.

            February 19, 2015 at 7:23 pm

  9. And now the image of gyrating geriatric genitalia has deadened me as well. Thanks for sharing.

    February 19, 2015 at 8:06 pm

  10. Being a native Tampan (not to be confused with a tampon) and having spent four years of my life (specifically my college life) in New Orleans (N’awlins in cajun speak) I can attest to the fact that Gasparilla does not compare to Mardi Gras. Not even close.

    And those colors of the season are actually the colors of the Krewe of Rex which is the best known but not the oldest Krewe in New Orleans. They march after the Krewe of Zulu (which is known for tossing gold and silver coconuts along with plastic beads) on Fat Tuesday. It also used to be that Fat Tuesday was the only night that a curfew was enforced and bars closed at midnight. Don’t know if that is still the case.

    I LOVE king cake!!!

    As for Lent, a few years ago I gave up religion for Lent and never returned to it.

    February 23, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    • Yep, I was born and raised in Tampa. Gasparilla is/was fun, but nowhere near the level of Mardi Gras.

      February 23, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      • Dayton & Sandy-

        The closest event New Hampshire has to Mardi Gras is something we call “Sugar Week.” Basically, any moron with a spigot and a bucket will tap a tree and then set fire to their barn while trying to make syrup. Nothing but hot, sticky embers for miles. Now how does Gasparilla sound?

        February 25, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    • YAY! SANDY’S BACK!

      February 25, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      • Sandy’s back – and a burned down barn….will the fun never stop? 😀
        Patient Cajuns (not to be confused with confused Cajun patients, scraped out of the gutters during Mardi Gras) ‘let’ the good times roll. The repressed, impatient Frogs up my way ‘make’ (some of) the good times to roll, although, like egged or TPed houses, might explain burned barns.

        March 1, 2015 at 3:29 pm

        • There must be some brave souls up there who “throw beads” during the heart of a Canadian winter!

          March 2, 2015 at 11:38 am

          • It’s hard to throw beads when you’re wearing a snowmobile suit and battery-heated mitts, and your float is stuck in a snow drift – and there sure as frozen Hell are no bare-boobed babes to throw them to. 😦

            March 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm