Thursday, March 10, 2011

Remembering where I hid the baby.

It's common knowledge that Audry is the family baker. But when time got short on Tuesday night, I had to step in to help the baker finish her Mardi Gras masterpiece.

Aud: "you know, this is what it would be like if we had our own bakery."
Me: "slaving away over frosting and pounds of cream cheese at night?"
Aud: "yup."

And so there we stood. Opposite each other at the kitchen counter. While the neighbors were going to bed, and as the clock struck 11pm, we were only getting started.

Audry worked hard to kneed the dough, and I created the filling (that when looked at as a whole was rather excessive - 2 pounds of cream cheese?!!?). So work we did. I manned the hand mixer, casually wiping away any sugary cream cheese that propelled its way onto the counter, and Audry rolled and stretched the dough, occasionally asking, "does this look 36 inches yet?"

If you're wondering, Yes, there was meaning to our "burning the midnight oil: bakery edition" madness.

The reason is tradition. When my cousin Teri joined our family years ago, she brought with her stories of growing up in New Orleans. All over her house there are fleur de leis', she loves talking about NOLA's streetcars, and you can bet that when the Saints won the Superbowl, she was telling everyone about how much she wished she could have been down there for the celebrations.

Last year, to bring a bit of home to Teri during Mardi Gras, Audry made her a Kings Cake. It's a Louisiana tradition, that is basically a cake where the colors of New Orleans (in sprinkles!) are used to decorate it, and a tiny plastic baby is hidden inside. There's more to it, but for purposes, I'll keep moving on. What you need to know is that whoever finds the baby in their piece is supposed to make/bring the cake to the next celebration. See. It's a fun tradition!

watch out... baby on a mixer!

Anyway, last year you would have thought someone surprised Teri with a member of her family when Audry walked through the doorway with that cake in hand. Teri's face lit up, her mouth dropped open, and an exclamation of, "you made a Kings Cakeeeeee!" sounded from her mouth. She loved it.

To have a family tradition exist, someone has to start it. So with 2010 being the inaugural year, 2011 had expectations of a Kings Cake being at the first family dinner after Fat Tuesday. I love the thought of Teri bringing our family that tradition. It's doubtful we would have ever had it without her, and because she packed it away to bring with her when she moved North, my whole family gets to share in the fun of the Mardi Gras season! We love it.

and if you were wondering, my mom left Audry a message tonight, "don't worry about who got the baby. Last night when I was cutting a piece for Nic to take home, it fell out and i just squished it back in for them". So I guess another year worked out nicely. Looks like mama Moiseeff is off the hook, and Ms. New Orleans herself will be providing the cake next time ;)