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BellaOnline's Cajun & Creole Editor

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January 12 2009 Cajun & Creole Newsletter


The Cajun Connoisseur From BellaOnline

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Happy New Year Everyone!  My wish for you and yours is to have a happy, healthy, prosperous 2009.  After a quiet New Years Eve and Day at home, enjoying family and friends, we have decided to whoop it up on Fat Tuesday this year.  Although we can't make it to New Orleans (sorry cousin Ann), we will be traveling south to San Diego, California to partake in the festivities in the Gas Lamp District. 

 

How do you plan on celebrating?  Why not post your plans in our  Cajun Forum ?  You can also ask a question or post a comment on anything from the best King Cake Bakery or your favorite hot sauce.  My email has been flooded with questions about King Cakes this year.  Everyone wants to make them, buy them, or eat them - but do you know why we eat King Cake during the Mardi Gras season? 


Since the current 'hot topic' seems to be King Cakes, I thought a little education about King Cakes and Mardi Gras in general might be in order!

 

A Few Facts

  • The Mardi Gras season begins on Epiphany or Twelfth Night (January 6) and continues through Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

  • Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" - which is why it is celebrated on Tuesday!

  • Mardi Gras can fall between February 3 and March 9 and is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.  Easy to figure out as it is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday!

Terms/Vocabulary

  • King Cake:  A colorful sweet bread pastry formed into a ring.  King Cakes traditionally appear on Twelfth Night (January 6th) and are enjoyed through Mardi Gras as a symbol of the festive season.  The sugars decorating the top of the cake mirrors the colors of Mardi Gras: gold (yellow) for power, green for faith, and purple for justice.  A little plastic baby Jesus is hidden in the cake after it is baked.  It is customary for the finder of the baby (it used to be a bean) to purchase the next cake and to throw a party. 

  • Krewe:  A private organization that sponsors or 'puts on' a Mardi Gras ball and / or a parade. 

  • Throws: The items that the krewes throw into the crowd!  Krewes began 'throwing' trinkets into the crowd over 100 years ago.  Today, they throw medallions depicting the parade theme on one side and the krewe's emblem on the other.  Long strings of beads are also thrown into the crowd. 

  • Maskers:  Wearers of costumes and masks.

  • Second Line:  Generally, the "second line" refers to the mass of people who follow behind the procession.

  • Go-cup: A plastic cup used for taking your alcoholic beverage of choice "to go".  In New Orleans, you can legally drink on the streets as long as your beverage is in a plastic cup!

  • Den:  Mardi Gras float warehouse.

  • Doubloons:  Aluminum coins stamped with the parade krewe's insignia and theme.

  • Laissez le bon temp rouler: (Lazay Lay Bon Tom Roulay) - Let the good times roll!

Links to Recipes and Articles:

Links To More Information and History on Mardi Gras:

I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the Cajun Forum or in response to this email message. If you have any questions regarding Cajun, Creole or New Orleans recipes, please feel free to contact me. Just CLICK Here , scroll down to the comment box, fill in your comment(s) and submit. If you are commenting about a recipe, please supply the recipe title!  I will personally answer as many questions as I can.

 

With Warmest Regards,

Sandie Jarrett
Editor, Cajun & Creole Site
BellaOnline.com

Cajun & Creole Food is just one of hundreds of sites at BellaOnline.com.



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