03 January 2008

Advance warning: buy purple sugar

We're a little hung up on Epiphany around here. The good news is that I've recruited some other people to help me make King cakes this year (tutorial over at the school in an hour if you're interested) so I won't have to do them all myself. I've posted my preferred recipe at CSPP cooks, but I wanted to tell you now that purple decorating sugar is powerful hard to find, so don't leave it until Saturday afternoon! One time I found some in a Valentine's day variety shaker, so you could try looking for something like that. And of course, don't forget to put the baby inside AFTER baking (I use the ones you can buy in bags of 6 for baby showers in the craft section at Walmart).

6 comments:

Gauntlets said...

Perhaps I will forgo the purple? It's not a color anyway.

Having no luck finding it in romantic Neb. I think the peoples will all rejoice if we go with Husker red instead. And may all of New Orleans gasp with horror.

Gauntlets said...

I really like the bit about punching down the dough with a heavy blow. As you know, I have anger issues. ;)

Rebekah said...

I don't know how I feel about this red idea . . .

Reb. Mary said...

So I must have totally missed the King cakes section in confirmation class and therefore must admit to having heard neither of them, nor of purple decorating sugar.

From whence comes this tradition?

And whyfore makest thou so many of them?

Misplaced (replaced?) Wisconsinite that I am, I do like the green/gold juxtaposition...

Kelly said...

Rosca de reyes!! How cool! I didn't realize that anyone did that outside of Spanish speaking countries. So does the person who gets the baby throw a party for everyone else on Candelaria?

Here is a wikipedia article on the tradition as it exists in Mexico:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosca_de_reyes

The article is poorly backtranslated in some parts, but you'll get the idea.

Rebekah said...

Thanks for the link, Kelly! RM, I'm not clear on the exact details myself, except that the colors are supposed to represent the wealth and majesty of the Magi. Here's how we do it around here: You make the cake (it's actually more like a sweet bread) and hide a baby (representing Baby Jesus) inside. Whoever gets the piece with the baby (ie finds Jesus, like the Magi) gets a prize, and/or has to provide the cake for next year's Epiphany, so we don't have the Candlemas connection Kelly describes. But I guess the more American application of King Cakes is for Mardi Gras rather than Epiphany, which I'm also not really clear on.

I saw Father Dominic make a different kind of King Cake once on his baking show--the "baby" was a piece of chocolate hidden in the dough. None of the crazy colors or anything on his variety.

We do what we can in these parts to draw attention to the big festivals that often get ignored (Epiphany and Ascension especially), so every year we have a King Cake party for the congregation following a sky-High Epiphany Mass. It's fun. :)