Tuesday, January 6, 2009

J'aime la Galette

Today's Wonder of the World is...La Galette des Rois!

Flickr photo by azukibean
Mes amis, have you met the galette? The King's cake?

Allow me to put you under its almond-y, buttery spell!
Today is the perfect day to do it! It's the Twelfth Day of Christmas! Happy Epiphany!

Whether or not you celebrate Epiphany, (the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi,) if you've got taste buds, you'll want to join in the French way.
Here, have a slice!

Flickr photo by page.halfull
But wait!
I forgot to warn you/tell you... There's a surprise inside. A surprise that just might send you to the dentist, if you're not careful!
Let me back up...
The youngest of you out there, would you mind scooting under the table while I slice up the cake? Your job is to tell me to whom I should give each piece. That way, if the treasure is sticking out in plain sight, none of these other greedy people at the table can claim the slice. We want to be fair and square about this for good reason. The lucky person who finds the treasure also gets to wear a golden crown that comes with the cake and be king or queen for the day! And they get to pick a partner to reign with them. So be nice, everyone!

My family is CRAZY about the galette des rois.
Would you like to see proof?
I'm a little embarrassed to show you this, but here goes...

Inside this printer tray is our collection of feves--the little treasures inside each cake. (Sorry, French accent police...I know that first e is supposed to get an accent, but blogger refuses to do it for me. Arrest me later.) Most cakes have one porcelain feve inside, and sometimes two (one porcelain, one plastic.) That tray is almost full, which means during our four years in France WE ATE WAY TOO MANY GALETTES! But hey, we walked all day long back then. Kind of.

In spite of all my resolutions, I'd sure love a slice right now. Boo hoo. No French galettes in Greenville/Greer, South Carolina. I could make my own, but I forgot to buy the powdered almonds. I guess I'll have to be content to reminisce.

Let me show you some of my favorite feves. Maybe that will cheer me up.
Are you ready? Some feves are religious and some aren't.

Once upon a time, before Christmas was the least bit commercialized, most feves were itty bitty baby Jesus's.

You could also take a bite of your galette, and pull out of your mouth a Mary, a sheep, or a wise man! If you're really lucky (or galette crazy like we are) you could end up with a whole nativity set!

Or you might find Puss in Boots, the gorilla from the Tarzan movie, or a dragonfly.

Or maybe a snail! Yum! French snails!

By the way, that snail is sitting next to a plastic horseshoe and a baby with a severe case of rigor mortis, poor kid. The baby came from a king's cake I bought at a South Carolina bakery. As you can see, American feves are much bigger than French ones. That's because Americans like to sue.

Would you like to see some of the kings and queens from our French life?
I present to you King Sam.

And Kings Todd and Scott.

And a couple of years later, Queen Sarah...

And these two princes.

Uh oh! Either Sam is singing J'aime la galette and Ben is enjoying the moment, or the two of them had a little too much to eat. Either that or the apple juice went hard! I should have checked those sippy cups!

I hope you enjoyed the galette tour!
I'm going to go munch on a carrot and repeat to myself how lucky I am to be eating such healthy food these days.
Maybe I'll watch this while I eat! A chef making dozens of galettes all at once!

Galette des rois from video-euro-tours on Vimeo.
Happy Epiphany!
Have a wonder-full Tuesday, everyone!
Love, Becky


JaxPop said...

Anyone that made New Year's resolutions related to weight loss & 'getting in shape' is probably not going to appreciate your post very much. Not criticizing - I'm just sayin'... Becky - where is the sensitivity???

Leah Skaggs, M.Div. '09 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leah Skaggs, M.Div. '09 said...

Ack - ok - I will try that comment again...
Oh my gosh... the flakiness of it all...I could smell almond and butter... and miss my French neighbor who moved - but used to have us over for King's cake. I love your collection! If you ever move back to France - eat your way to a tiny nativity for me! Happy Epiphany and hug all your wise men for me!

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

I loved this post.

adrienne said...

I love that collection!
Very cute pictures of your little royal family, too.

CC said...

This looks awesome. I want a royal cake! Can you send one my way? ;)

a Tonggu Momma said...

Y'all is fanc-ee. We just throw a coin in the cake and call it a day.

susie said...

You make me laugh!

Sherry said...

Yummy! But how could you do that to us -- running such delicious-looking pictures when we're all trying to follow post-holiday diets?

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

The French know how to do pastries...yum, thanks for a tasty start to the year.

Silicon Valley Diva said...

We've celebrated La Galette des Rois also. Our french friends usually invite us over to mark the French New year.

My MIL also makes an awesome galette.

We drove all over one year to find the ingredients she needed. I think we finally went to Trader Joe's lol. We also have a French bakery here, but they make it too greasy. MIL's is better.

Our children always fight over the little Porcelain figurines and who gets to wear the crown.

I just love your post and that is great you keep all the figurines.

Ronnie said...

Mmmmm! Wish there was Eat-a-blog!
Cause I'd be eatin' this up!
Is this like the King cakes you get in New Orleans?
FYI: I am reading your book. You just moved in and tried to get out of the neighborhood bank! If y'all haven't read Becky's book, here's the heads up. Amazon and Rebecca Ramsey. Never mind. It's right there on the right side of Becky's blog.

May Vanderbilt said...

Wow! I feel like I have been missing out on one of life's little treats! I have NEVER had king cake or its French counterpart.

But I love the traditions around it!

I'll have to find a French bakery that makes them next year.

Alex said...

DOn't know that I've heard of a Kings Cake before. But, hey, King Sam is CUTE!!! :)

lotusgirl said...

Mmmm! Les galettes! Don't find those around here either. They are yummy. I never got the feve though. I was never queen, but that's ok. I was glad the kids got them.

I love the video. The end is my favorite. I laughed out loud. Crunch!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Sorry folks to make you salivate when you're probably munching on carrots like I am. But it's Epiphany! The cake is perfect for today!

Ronnie, you are too sweet for the book mention! And yes, it's the same idea as the New Orleans king's cake, but it tastes completely different. The New Orleans one is like a brioche, and the French one is more like a pie consistency.

Susan Tuttle said...

yummy -- looks like it could just melt in your mouth!

thanks for the congrats! -- means so much!


TattingChic said...

Oh! I want to obtain a galette of nativity feves!!! So, if I eat one by myself then I get to hide under the table and tell myself to eat a piece and when I get the feve I get to be queen for the day over myself??? Is that how it works?

rochambeau said...

Happy Epiphany Becky!!
AND Happy New Year too!!
Delicious post!
Can I please jump into a chair and sit with your family?
I love Galette des Rois!! Also have a collection of little porcelain feves! Mine are all little figures, NOT the holy family. Sill, some of my most precious possessions!
Thank you for posting this!!
Your family looks fun.


Jamie @ Baldwin Bungalow said...

I think you might be evil for showing a picture of that King's cake on your blog. Makes me want a danish - or a King's cake :)

Happy new year to you!!