Embee with One Month Old Gigi
If I am honest, I feel like Blog with Friends, really opens the doors for the participating bloggers to create projects. I am not good at blogging about projects, or even doing projects, so I tend to be the more boring of the bloggers that participate. This month, may just be my most boring post yet. However, the very moment I heard about the theme being Mardi Gras, I thought of something, and I decided I just needed to share it. I am sharing more for myself, than the readers.
My life has been one heckuva ride. Seriously. It has been fun, scary, sad, and everything in between. When I was younger, and I first learned about Mardi Gras, I knew I immediately wanted to go there one year. To be honest, I have always been drawn to New Orleans. I honestly would LOVE to live there. When I got older, and learned more about Mardi Gras, I quickly decided I wanted to make it a yearly tradition.
I do not know how you imagined adulthood would be, but I had definite ideas about what being an adult would be like for myself. I can honestly say, it has been absolutely nothing like anything I had imagined. Seriously, NOTHING at all like how I had imagined it would be, and not just because I just turned 37, and I have still never been to New Orleans on Mardi Gras. Yes, if you now think I have lived my life completely wrong, I tend to agree.
However, one of my most prominent Mardi Gras memories involves French class and a King Cake. Have you ever had a King Cake?! Honestly, I think they are awesome. I really hope to enjoy some one day, in New Orleans, on Mardi Gras, but if not, it is okay.
For some reason, whenever I think of Mardi Gras, the first thing that comes to mind is my Pamela and the King Cake I made. It was such a fun experience. Our French teacher gave us a recipe, and we had to translate it to English, and make it. It happened to be a recipe for a King Cake. It was such a fun experience. I am pretty sure it tasted awful, and I possibly got some of it wrong, but it was truly beautiful. I wish I had pictures to share.
Pamela was my adoptive mum, who I lived with for a while, until I turned 18 and clung fiercely to being an adult and moved out, and began making my own (terrible) decisions. I translated the ingredients, and she went to the store, to get everything for me, while I worked on translating the directions. I finally finished, but I was so confused. I actually had to call my teacher, and apologized for asking, but told her that if I did not ask questions, I probably would not be able to safely make anything. Sometimes, when translating another language into English, the translation is too literal. That was the case with two parts of the recipe. The first too literal of a meaning was the lemon zest. I do not remember exactly what it translated to, but it was not to zest a lemon, but more like putting the peels of a lemon in. So, she explained my translation was good, but too literal.
The second part was more humorous. I could not figure out why I was supposed to bake a baby into the cake. I was certain I had translated wrong. I hadn't. I just needed to understand the baby in question, was a tiny, plastic baby. The whole point was for someone to randomly receive the plastic baby, in their piece of the King Cake, and therefore have good luck all year. I was absolutely amazed by the odd, but fun tradition, and we set out to find a plastic baby, to be our lucky baby Jesus. It was honestly so fun. It wasn't as yummy as I had hoped, but as I said, it really was so pretty. My favorite colors are green and purple, and that probably has something to do with why I love Mardi Gras.
Pamela loved my cake. She absolutely loved it. She was so supportive of me. Plus, with her and Rosemary as my adoptive mums, I had everything I needed, and much of what I wanted, for the first time in my life. Looking back, I see that fact so clearly. I saw it then too, but instead of feeling grateful and happy, I felt like a burden, and that led to some of the terrible choices I made, once I was an adult.
Pamela unfortunately passed away in 2006, before I was able to truly make amends with her, and I regret that every day, but I look back at my time with her so fondly. I am so grateful she was in my life. I am grateful for all the ways she built me up, rather than tearing me down. Like the day I made the King Cake, and gave her a piece of the "extra", and rather than say it was garbage, she ate it and smiled, and congratulated me on doing such a wonderful job translating the recipe. She also calmed my nerves, and convinced me I would get an A.
I think I got a B, and that was probably over generous. It really did taste awful. It was dry and weird. I have had a few King Cakes since, and can honestly say, none of them were remotely like mine. Part of my heart is sad, remembering back to this memory, but more than anything, I am grateful. Grateful I experienced it, grateful I can remember it, and grateful for my Pamela.
Oh, coincidentally, I found the baby. It was quite fitting, considering that was probably one of the best years of my life.
Do you like Mardi Gras? Have you ever been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans? Have you ever had King Cake?
Please, do yourself a favor, and check out these other, more amazing Blog with Friends posts:
Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Nutella King Cake, a fun and easy interpretation of the classic Mardi Gras treat.
Kia of The Ground Beneath my Feet
Let the Good Times Roll!
Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments
Jazz It Up!
P.J. of A ‘lil HooHaa
Masks and beads and food and drinks OH MY!
Lydia of Cluttered Genius
Carnival in the Spanish Classroom