You know you’re getting old when you get excited about a new calendar, but here I am. I got a brightly colored calendar for 2020 that features hand-drawn pictures of food with hand-lettered recipes (this month is borscht!), and on Sunday, I went over my kids’ school calendar and my work school calendar and put all important dates on the master calendar. It was immensely satisfying. I love a fresh start!

Less satisfying, to say the least, was the Saints loss. I get too anxious to watch playoff games, so I stayed off the grid for most of it (running errands, buying groceries, driving my kid to roller derby practice), but somehow managed to make it home just in time to watch the heartbreaking overtime defeat.

Also not satisfying, but seemingly only to me, is the start of King Cake (aka Carnival) season. I know it’s horrible to admit it – it’s already enough that I don’t care for shrimp – but I just don’t have much of a taste for King Cake. My daughters love it and eat King Cake for breakfast and snacks and dessert … but if I’m going to eat empty calories, it’s going to be Zapp’s Crawtators, not iced cinnamon bread. I’m in the definite minority here. My Facebook feed, all King’s Day long, was full of people here delighting in their first King Cake of the season and people who’d moved lamenting the lack of King Cake in their current lives. But when I lived in Missouri, King Cake was about the only thing I didn’t really miss.

I do like the Dong Phuong ones (the icing isn’t too sweet) and the Hi-Do ones (they remind me of McKenzie’s, of which I have fond childhood memories), and I’ve heard great things about Cake Café’s apple and goat cheese one, even if I’m not 100 percent sure that counts as a King Cake. But most of the time, I can see King Cake in the break room and walk on by without a moment of regret.

I like red beans and rice. I like gumbo. I like poor boys and grits and grillades and beignets and muffulettas. I like boiled crawfish and jambalaya and Abita beer. I like fried oysters and hot sausage and étouffée and chicory coffee and sno-balls drowning in condensed milk. I promise I’m not a particularly picky eater, and I promise I grew up here … but … maybe I just haven’t found the right King Cake yet?

If you have an absolute favorite King Cake that you think might change my mind, please let me know about it in the comments below.


Otherwise, happy Carnival, everyone! See y’all on the route!