Carnival Season is in Full Swing

King cake is round and baked with cinnamon. Some bakeries leave the baby out to prevent choking.

Twelfth Night (January 6th) marked the end of Yuletide and the start of Carnival season. That means it’s now acceptable to eat king cake! So far, I’ve had four: a classic from two places, a Bavarian cream-filled, and an apple cheesecake one. So far, my favorite is still the classic cinnamon with a healthy balance of icing and colored sugar, but I enjoy trying everyone’s varieties. For anyone who doesn’t understand king cake etiquette, the knife goes in the box after you use it. That way the next person can use it. Now, everybody knows about the baby. If you get the baby in your piece, you have to buy the next cake. BUT! If you see the baby peeking out of the next piece, you cut from the other side of the cake. This is how things are done. I don’t make the rules. After Mardi Gras day (February 21st this year), no more eating king cake. The next day is Ash Wednesday for our Catholic friends and marks the start of Lent, so many of them wouldn’t be able to enjoy cake anyway. Parades will be all over the place soon enough. If you plan to be a tourist in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, come soak up some of our culture and enjoy the revelry, but please celebrate responsibly.

Thursday is Imbolc and Groundhog Day. The Earth is waking up and will soon show more marked signs of its transition toward spring. On this day, I like to watch the 1993 movie Groundhog Day and nibble a slice of king cake. I think it’s a great redemption story, which many people need right about now. As I referenced in my last post, many people lose momentum on their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. Don’t let that discourage you. Every day is a new day. Dust yourself off and start fresh. I’ve always liked this quotation by Samuel Beckett: “Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

King cake filled with Bavarian cream

February is Black History Month in the United States. You can read some great articles and lessons about the Civil Rights Movement and race in America here. I’m dropping a link to the UK’s Black History Month website too because they take a different approach (for one, it’s not America-centered) and devote a longer month to it: October. I really enjoy history and learning in general, and it’s important to know about more than your own little corner of the world.

These are a local favorite that are incredibly difficult to come by since their return to the shelves.
I savored every bite.

How do you like spending the beginning of the year? What are your goals or plans for 2023? Should I bring back enrichment suggestions with every post? What about only posting them monthly? Or is it better that they’re gone?

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