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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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Weekend wrap-up

Saturday night I went to a Mardi Gras party thrown by an actual New Orleans native.

Her place was decorated with tons of love beads, little floats/altars (she learned to make these in grade school with shoe boxes) and she even had an authentic King Kake flown in from some mafia bakery in New Orleans. There was authentic jambalaya and even hurricanes (made with fresh passionfruit juice.) I was so bummed that Iíd eaten beforehand.

Of course I still ate the jambalaya. The hostess had made it! From scratch! I had to try a little dish of it and it was superspicy and yummy.

The King Kake was sort of funny. In France, the equivalent is the galette des rois which is a heavenly concoction made from pounds and pounds of butter, sugar and almond paste. Thereís a really nice ritual that accompanies the eating of the cake too.

But not so in the South.

The King Kake is a very colorful, flat ring cake that looks like a giant cinnamonny danish. And it tastes like a cinnamonny danish.

Guess who got the little baby jesus that was hidden in the cake?

Thatís right.

Me.

This means I have to throw next yearís party. Yeah right.

In France, the galette des rois come with two crowns. The person who finds the feve or charm in their slice of cake gets to be crowned King or Queen, and once you are crowned, you get to crown your regal partner. In my family, since there were three daughters and no sons, my father was always king. A more traditional variation of this ritual involves having the youngest child hide or get under the table, and call out whom the slices should go to (that way, thereís no cheating, and it really is dumb luck.) Thereís a very beautiful scene in Ariane Mnouchkineís film ďMoliereĒ where they engage in this ritual.

When I was a kid, I would always try to parlay my Queen-ness into a weeklong indulgence. Shock of all shocks, I know. Naturally, my parents would have none of it. The day after the Fete des Rois, I would request special breakfasts, immunity from dishes and chores, supreme tv privileges, but my demands were never met. What can I say, my parents and siblings were hopeless peasants with no respect for my divine rights as royalty.

Yesterday I was treated to lunch at a new place on 3rd called Toast. It was very good. Terence had a kind of panini (sandwich smashed in a sandwich press/grill thingie) that he raved about. He misses the smashed sandwiches of France. Heís always talking about buying a panini grill at a restaurant supply place so he can make his own at home. This is where we are completely different. When he has money, he likes to spend it on food: steaks, seafood, wine, cheese. When I have money, I like spending it on things I'm not going to just poop out: clothes, shoes, silly beauty products.

Anyway, back to the restaurant: I had the kind of salad you can really only have in the United States and it was called The Tucson: lettuce topped with black beans, corn, tomato, avocado, grilled chicken, tortilla strips and grated cheddar all moistened with ranch dressing. Iím a vinaigrette sort of girl, but there is something deliciously white-trash about ranch dressing, and it is especially yummy on this sort of a salad.

Later, we watched two movies: About a Boy and The Bourne Identity. I liked the former very much and am embarassed to admit that I find Hugh Grant adorable and charming. He totally kicks Matt Damonís ass, and I know that Iím comparing apples to oranges... but still.

6:47 p.m. - 2003-03-03

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