Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012 - King Cakes - Find the Baby - and dual specialties

It's fat Tuesday again!  Thanks to a previous colleague who was from Louisiana and who taught us the meaning and importance of celebrating this august occasion we now have a cakehour Mardi Gras each year.  This features the king cakes, beads, doubloons and whatever nonsense we can think of.  The king cakes come from an online company kingkingcakes.com.  They have a good selection and even a history of Mardi Gras and the cakes: http://www.kingkingcakes.com/shopcontent.asp?type=News.

Praline King Cake

Cream Cheese King Cake!

The praline cake with the spilled purple sugar!

Cream Cheese cake prior to decorations



We had tried them last year and they were good so we went again and ordered the cream cheese and the praline king cakes.  They arrived on schedule on Fat Tuesday in time for cake hour.  There were a few glitches in the shipping however.  This company does not send them fully decorated but includes the sugar frosting and the Mardi Gras colored sprinkles in packets and little plastic containers so the final assembly of the cake takes place onsite  This year the shipping must have been a little vigorous as one of the cakes had broken in half and most of the containers with the sprinkles popped open. Because of the moisture these granulated sugar based sprinkles melted somewhat. The result was that we could not get the perfectly decorated king cake we expected but had to settle for a slightly simplified and less traditional decoration. We think something to better secure the sugar sprinkles is definitely in order.
The purple and yellow melted so we're going green!
A bit more color on the pecan cake and those chunky things in the center are pralines!
There was no issue with the quality of the cakes and the taste.  This being the equivalent of a large cinnamon coffee cake, it tasted as such and the cream cheese version with the white frosting was well appreciated.  The praline one had the frosting flavored with pecans and big globs of things that we assume were the pralines inside and outsied. They were kind of doughy nut clusters.  Southern pralines are different than European pralines which are basically filled chocolates.   There was nothing resembling a chocolate in this cake. The cakes came with beads and doubloons that we could toss for some Mardi Gras verit√© and we also had our own person Orpheus designee to lead the celebration.
The sugar syrup spreads like molten lava!
All smiles with beads and doubloon

Orpheus lives in Mardi Gras colors
Got me some doubloons aka plastic coins

There are some good size balls on this string of beads

One of us is making a fashion statement..
And the reason I have these things is...
...because I'm such a fun guy!
I'm so happy...I have beads too!
Of course the big event is finding the tiny baby that is baked into the cake.  The reason why there is a little plastic baby baked into the cake is also explained in the link above.  Whoever finds it has to host the next party.  Punishment instead of reward for finding the baby. Isn't that interesting?  We are happy to report that unlike last year when we had to go searching for the things after everyone had filled up on cake, this year they were quickly found by cake eating colleagues.  For one of them it was the second baby of the year as she had also been served a cake on Epiphany and found the baby then. Two in one year!  Now she has to host two parties, lucky her!  The other baby was found by another colleague who was thrilled to be a Mardi Gras dad even though he ultimately abandoned his prize.  So we had another successful Fat Tuesday celebration with our own Crewe of Orpheus.

One baby is found!!
My second baby this year!
Baby number two sees the light of day!
The proud baby finder!

Our two future party hosts!

The baby is abandoned!
Looking mighty lonely!
Orpheus and his crew!
Our Braziliana brought up the issue of someone having a dual specialty in Neurology and Psychiatry - a neuro-psychiatrist.  This got us to wondering what other kinds of double specialty psychiatrists there could be.  Could there be a cardiology psychiatrist or how about a gastrointestinal psychiatrist...or even a gynecology psychiatrist. We came up with some stupid combinations including whether there could be a pediatric geriatrician to which our clever Dr. Chris Taub from house look alike remarked "Of course, even Benjamin Button needs a doctor!"  Get it? It was funny joke!

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