10th Day: Three King’s Day (Celebrating French & Cajun Culture)

On the tenth day, we had a French mashup kind of day!  We celebrated Three Kings’ Day, a common celebration in France (as well as Spain, and many South American countries) and added a little bit of Cajun flavor to the day as a nod to our French-Americans to the south.

   I took a break from packing to try my hand at making a King’s Cake.  This cake is common in France during Three Kings’ Day/ Epiphany as well as around Louisiana during Christmas time and Mardi Gras.
King’s Cake is a very basic recipe- I had
everything I needed in my pantry already!

Spreading the cinnamon/brown sugar/ butter mixture
on thick.

 

    It takes some time to make a King’s cake as there are a lot of taking breaks to let it rise.  So in the meantime we whipped together one of our family’s favorite dinners and a Louisiana staple: shrimp boil!  A shrimp boil is typically slices of corn on the cob, baby red potatoes, sausage, and shrimp with spices thrown in the water as it boils.  We do a paleo version instead so ours is sweet potatoes, New Orleans sausage, and shrimp with the seasonings.  Quick, easy, and delicious!

 

    After we were done with dinner, we moved onto our Three Kings’ Day crafts and game.  I explained to Marshall that Three Kings’ Day is all about celebrating the three kings who followed the star to Bethlem and found baby Jesus in the manger.
    I cut some scraps of paper from my craft drawer and taped them onto toilet paper rolls.

 

    Marshall then got his markers out to give them eyes, noses, and mouths.  He had fun telling me about each one as he gave them a face.

 

 

    Once we had our kings in place it was time to make our star of Bethlem to lead them to baby Jesus.  I cut out a less than stellar star, but Marshall jazzed it up pretty well with coloring it many shades of yellow, red, and orange.

 

    The star was finished and we tied it to a small broom to follow.  Marshall put on his crown he received from the Fairy Princess and he was off, following the star.

 

“Baby Jesus, where are you?!”

 

    He wandered about the buildings (boxes) as he searched for baby Jesus.  I was quickly trying to think what we could say was Jesus- since we don’t have any baby dolls.  That’s when Marshall surprised me and showed me just how much he learned.  He grabbed the star and pinned it up against his stack of Christmas books, then promptly announced he found baby Jesus and pointed to the picture of our savior in the manger.

 

Definitely a proud mama moment.

 

    We finished off the night with a surprise!  Awhile back, we picked up ‘The Legend of Papa Noël: a Cajun Christmas Story’.  Papa Noël (Father Christmas= Santa Claus) has to use alligators pulling a pirogue to get presents to children in the bayou.  Each alligator has a French name; instead of Rudolph there is Nicolette- the albino alligator with green glowing eyes.  The book is beautifully illustrated and a fun little twist among all the same Santa stories.  It certainly captured Marshall’s imagination and held his attention.
    We had our King’s cake, now finally done, and enjoyed the new book with cake before our own little king went to bed for the night.
Lost it’s shape at the end there- I need to pull it thinner a
bit more next time.

 

Still delicious though!

 

 

Pointing out the alligators

 

    The tenth day was about celebrating our beliefs through the lens of other cultures.   Having some tasty French and Cajun food while learning some fun new things.  I learned Marshall can find baby Jesus even when I’m wondering, and Marshall learned that Santa goes by many names and uses many different means to deliver toys when he needs to.  We continue to follow the star of Bethlehem as we steadily get closer to the birth of Jesus.  Joyeux Noël!
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