There’s a baby in the cake?
“Why is there a baby in the cake. I don’t want to eat the baby.” This is the response I got from my kids when they were presented with a Kings Cake as one of the treats to eat during the Super Bowl. When we explained the tradition which is part of the celebration of Mardi Gras and that the person who gets the baby in their piece of cake has the honor of making the cake next year, my son wanted nothing to do with it. May daughter was seriously worried she would eat the baby. All of us adults got a big laugh out of it, because what kid says no to a treat?
When it comes to Mardi Gras all I can I think of is New Orleans and all the great food to find there. The Kings Cake is one of which I have great memories from my visits to New Orleans. It is a cinnamon-roll style bread topped with icing in the traditional colors of Mardi Gras; purple, green and gold.
Another favorite of mine from this amazing city is Etouffee. We make this great recipe regularly, but with some alterations. We add bacon that has been chopped and cooked up into crispy pieces. We also substitute chicken for the shrimp so I will enjoy it. The husband makes a portion with shrimp and sometimes even tosses in crawdads to satisfy his love of crustaceans. If we have some around we’ll also add in some Andouille sausage.
One of the best homemade Gumbo recipes I’ve ever had was made by my sister after Thanksgiving. The Best Leftover Turkey Gumbo is as it says; it’s the best. I think what makes it is the careful attention my sister pays to getting the roux just so and a nice dark brown.
The best sandwich I’ve ever had is from New Orleans too, the Muffaletta. This sandwich is made for sharing and full of amazing flavor. Prepping it the day before makes it even better as all the flavors have time to intermingle and soak into the bread.
Another standard is Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage .
Though you would never catch me in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I live vicariously for those who brave the crowds. Instead, I make all of these great dishes in my quiet kitchen only surrounded by a couple cats, couple of dogs, couple of kids and the husband. That’s about all the crowd I can manage.
Enjoy all of your indulgences before Lent. Please share your favorites in the comments below.