Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In his final week, another baby! Happy Mardi Gras!

Today is fat Tuesday, the final day before Lent on the Christian calendar, better known as Mardi Gras! Many years ago, with a student from New Orleans at the Center, we started celebrating this day of indulgence with a little NOLA flair!  Our King Cake arrived from New Orleans and we donned our festive Orpheus amulet and beads and grabbed some doubloons to toss while some New Orleans jazz played!
Guess what's in the box?
It's King Cake!!
The final product after we added the frosting and the colored sugars!
Orpheus is ready to serve the cake!
Other revelers celebrate!
Mardi Gras cheer!
This year we opted for the praline king cake.  Pralines to us were always a kind of specialty chocolate with a soft filling made by the likes of Lindt or Godiva.  However in New Orleans they are a type of specialty candy made from sugar, butter, cream and nuts. As such they are like big gobs of sweetness and in this case they are baked into the cake. This tends to make them a little soft so it ends up being a cake which is very much like a coffee ring, with big sugary blobs dispersed throughout.  This may sound too sweet but it wasn't and all together it made for a great pastry.  Even though it travels for three days, it still tastes pretty fresh when it gets here.  To get the true experience you have to decorate it with the sugar frosting and colored sugars yourself because doing it beforehand and shipping it would yield you one big mess upon arrival.

The gooey brown stuff on the right is the praline!
Naturally the other thing dispersed in the cake is the little plastic baby.  This year the baby went to our colleague about to return to Japan.  We playfully observed that this was his second baby since arriving here in the US as one of his sons was born here.  We gave him a couple of the doubloons to take home to the other kids to celebrate the birth of their "sibling".  We were told that the two oldest boys were thrilled to get the coins.
Look what I found!
His second American baby!
Orpheus acknowledges the baby man!
Till next year -

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!!

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