And away we go!

2014 ~ a new year to chase dreams, fulfill goals, make mistakes, learn lessons, read good books, love, forgive, laugh and generally bumble our way through life. Let’s give it our best shot and enjoy the ride!

Sadly, I know that doesn’t work for everyone. There are those who are coping with serious issues that also affect their family and friends and to them we offer wishes for the hope of relief and positive change that a new year may bring.

Above all, be kind to one another … every day, all day.

If it’s Friday, it must be France …

If you are in France, it’s again time to celebrate  … oui …  bien sûr … more food! Don’t you love it? This time it’s all about a rich, almond cream (frangipane) enveloped by layers of light, flaky pastry (feuilleté).

Another joyful opportunity to bring friends and family around the table to share La Galette des Rois/The Kings’ Cake, takes place on the first Sunday of January or January 6th and recognizes Epiphany, the arrival of the three wise men (Magis). This special pastry’s history can be  traced to Roman times. 

It’s so popular, many patisseries make the scrumptious cake through the entire month of January.

The cake is cut in the specific number of slices for the people present, with one extra symbolic slice for the first poor person passing by. The youngest child  (or the most innocent adult, if no children are present, which can result in great hilarity) goes under the table and calls out who will receive each slice to ensure fair distribution. The greatest excitement comes when one person discovers la fève (a lucky charm) hidden in a single slice.

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Click here to read an excellent account of the history and traditions of this special fête. There’s also a recipe if you are inclined to do some baking this weekend.

I’ve just discovered that one of my favourite bloggers, Marianne of East of Malaga, has written about this very festival in Spain. Click here and hurry over to see how  they celebrate!

Have you ever tasted one of these cakes or made your own? I know there are still many other cultural and religious post-Christmas observations and celebrations to be held in the coming weeks. Tell us about yours! 

Don’t forget to drop by or just click here to visit my favourite place to learn French: eFrench Café. Ida Young-Bondi is waiting to help out with many innovative approaches!

14 responses to “And away we go!

  1. Somehow, we’ve never been around in France at the right moment to share la Galette des Rois. We’ll have to put this right this year. Our last chance, after all…..

  2. My favorite here in France! They are delicious and of course getting the little trinket and wearing the crown makes it that much more fun!

  3. Very fascinating tradition, Patricia. And, yes, I bopped over to check out the history and the recipe.

    YUM! I gained 3 pounds reading the ingredients for the traditional king’s cake.

    We see those a lot this time of year in Texas, but most are decorated in traditional mardi gras colors of green and purple. I suspect they use the type that’s brioche with candied fruit.

    Give me the traditional! The original! The gooey goodness in the middle of puff pastry.

    • Oh! Meant to ask…

      Why is it only “symbolic” to leave a piece for the first poor person who walks by? I’m surprised part of the tradition doesn’t involve gifting a piece of that cake a less fortunate person.

      Someone like, say…

      Me! Standing at the door with a fork in my pocket and a winning smile on my face. 😀

  4. I’ve not heard of this tradition, but I think it’d be fun if you were a two person family. Lot’s of cake and you’ve got a 50/50 shot of getting the lucky charm (unless that happens to be in the slice for the poor person). I guess it’s more like a 33.33 percent chance of getting the lucky charm.

    Fun stuff.

    Happy new year – here’s to big things in 2014!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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