Real Cajun Cooking lets you choose from hundreds of authentic Cajun recipes. Learn to easily prepare and cook original Cajun-style family meals with help from south Louisiana's Cajun cook and connoisseur, Jacques Gaspard, who's been preparing great Cajun meals for over 50 years. Create the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared. Besides great original recipes, you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! Don't forget to tell all of your family and friends about Real Cajun Cooking. They will thank you for it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gateau de Roi - The King's Cake Story

This is an excerpt from "Mr. Lake's New Orleans Forum":

Gateau de Roi

Twelfth Night or King Cake

The story of the king cake begins, like the story of Mardi Gras itself, with the pagans. They had a celebration where a young man from the village was chosen to be treated like a king for a whole year. He was not denied during his reign, but after the year was over he became a human sacrifice to the gods. To eliminate this pagan custom, the Christian Church encouraged an observance calling for the preparation of a king cake containing a bean; whoever received the slice with the bean became king for a week and was allowed to choose a queen to reign with him. This took the place of the sacrificial pagan rite.

The King Cake tradition is believed to have been brought to New Orleans, Louisiana, from France in the 1870's. It evolved from the Twelfth Night or Epiphany pastry made by those early settlers. They added their own touches with the Spanish custom of choosing Twelfth Night royalty.

In European countries, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. The celebration, called Epiphany, Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night, is a time of exchanging gifts and feasting. All over the world people gather for festive Twelfth Night celebrations. One of the most popular customs is still the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings..."A King's Cake" or Gateau de Roi.

A King Cake's ring shape, too, is significant, as some believe it symbolizes the unity of all Christians, and others believe it aptly resembles a king's crown.

A dried bean was originally hidden inside the cake but was replaced by coins, peas, pecans, rubber dolls, porcelain dolls, and in recent years plastic dolls. Starting around the 1930s, a tiny naked baby (Frozen Charlotte) was used instead of the bean or pea. The baby can be pink, brown, or golden. Some people believe that the baby represents the baby Jesus because Twelfth Night was when the three kings found the baby in Bethlehem.

Tradition has it that the person who finds the baby in the king cake is the next queen or king, he or she receives a year of good luck, is treated as royalty for that day and must host the next king cake party.

King Cake season lasts throughout Mardi Gras from the feast of the Epiphany until Mardi Gras Day.

The royal colors of purple, green and gold on the cake honors the three kings, Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, who visited the Christ child on the Epiphany. Purple represents Justice. Green stands for Faith. Gold signifies Power.

The three colors appeared in 1872 on a Krewe of Rex carnival flag especially designed for the visiting Grand Duke of Russia. He came to New Orleans just for the carnival, and the universal colors remain his legacy.

You can visit Mr. Lake's New Orlean's Forum for more outstanding King Cake recipes (including a Mexican King Cake). Thanks Frank!


Special Note: I couldn't help but notice that the first of the Three Kings was named "Gaspar". Seems as though someone may have forgotten to add the letter "d" at the end of his name.

Ahheee!! Laisser le bon temps rouller!
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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Boudreaux and Dat Doggone Dog! (Cajun humor)

Boudreaux and his wife Clotille lived on a little farm just outside of the city of Mamou, Louisiana.

One day Clotille said, "Mais, Boudreaux, you have to get rid of dat dog. All he does is lie under de front porch and turn over da trash cans."

Boudreaux said, "Okay Cher. I'll get rid of him."

He put the dog in the pickup, drove down the road a couple of miles, and dumped him out. He drove home and in a few minutes the dog showed up. So he put him back in the truck, drove several more miles and dumped him out.

After Boudreaux got back home, the dog showed up again.

Clotille said, "You have to take him out and drive around and around a lot in circles, den dump him out. Dat way he won't know da way home."

Boudreaux said, "You some smart, Clotille, and dat's why I marry you."

Boudreaux again took the dog, and drove further out. Then he drove all around and zigzagged in and out the back roads a lot then dumped the dog out.

He started back home but pulled over and parked and called Clotille on his cell phone.

"Has dat dog come back yet?"

Clotille answered, "Yes, he just came in."

Boudreaux said, "Well, put him up to da phone - I'm lost."     ... Ahheee!!



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