I jumped out of bed this morning, albeit a little the worse for wear, and immediately went outside. It is a beautiful day here in beautiful New Orleans! I don’t know why, but the minute I get back here, I feel like I’ve lost ten years and ten pounds. Must be the water 😉 There is that funny, buzzy, Carnival feeling in the air; it’s early yet, so the Mardi Gras energy feels more like a distant, under water thrumming. Every body is happy. The whole city is on the same page. I love it here.
There is King Cake everywhere and it is entirely acceptable to eat cake for breakfast. No wonder everyone is happy! I saw these cakes on my morning walk to Whole Foods. Numerous fillings are available…marzipan, chantilly, cream cheese and every fruit that was ever put into a can. Carl just loves it!
On my first trip to New Orleans many years ago, Mama Kathleen explained the history of King Cake to me. It was the first of many lovely and quaint traditions this city has in her memory. Way back, the King Cake contained a hard little bean or a black-eyed pea. If you found the pea in your slice, it was your responsibility to throw the next Carnival party. During the great depression, when the expense of throwing a party was prohibitive, folks would just swallow the bean, thereby avoiding the obligation. The King outsmarted them and introduced a tiny porcelain doll prettily called a “frozen Charlotte” and knocked back the expectations a bit; the recipient no longer threw a party, they just had to buy the next cake. Well, Charlotte is now a little plastic baby doll and finding her in your slice of cake is just plain fun and carries no obligation whatsoever 🙂
Miss Laura’s garden is blooming! There is jasmine, bromeliads, Mexican petunias and a whole bunch of stuff that no one knows the name of. It smells lush and damp and there’s something popping up everywhere. Anywhere where grains of soil accumulate produces plant life here in the swamp.
We are off fabric shopping this afternoon and tonight I’ll be knitting at Thursday Night Knitting in the Marigny
Thursdays, 7pm – 9pm
Byrdie’s Coffee Shop, New Orleans, LA
See you there!