Galette du Roi & Une Recette/A Recipe

**I will not be posting again until after Epiphany on January 4, 2015, so taking this opportunity to  thank you for your readership and wish you & yours a very healthy & Happy New Year 2015!**

BONNES FETES !

Epiphany:  The Christian holiday when a special cake eaten on or around January 6, called the ‘galette des Rois,’ is well know in France and celebrates the arrival of the three kings in the Bethlehem stable.

galette

There are three different styles of the cake dependent on the area in France. In the north, puff pastry and almond filling; the south’s ‘gâteau des Rois’ is a circular brioche decorated with candied fruit, and galette briochewestern France has a sweetened shortcrust, rather than puff pastry. Both galette and gâteau are widely available – and even variants with chocolate, apple purée and nuts. All come with a cardboard crown and a “fève”, which traditionally used to be a bean before trinkets were introduced, often in the form of a baby Jesus, but today, it is just as likely to be a blue plastic “Schtroumpf” (Smurf). The cake is eaten with friends, family and colleagues, and the person who finds the fève is crowned king or queen for the day (a crown is sold with the cake).

Personal Note: A dried bean can be used in place of a figurine for the fève for a DIY version. In order to make sure the cake is served randomly, the French tradition is for the youngest member of the family to sit under the table (or simply close their eyes) and call out the name of the person to be served the next slice of the cut cake.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup ground almonds
1 stick butter
3 eggs
1/4 cup of sugar
2 sheets puff pastry
powdered sugar

Directions:

Grind almonds in food processor

For the Frangipane filling:

Beat sugar and butter
add two (2) of the eggs and almonds.

Next:

– Butter a flat baking sheet and unfold thawed puff pastries and using a pie pan as a template cut into two circles
– Spread the Frangipane filing in the center of one pastry layer and place a dried fava bean or ceramic figure
– Using the last egg, beat and paint the edges of the dough
– Place the second pastry circle on top and seal the edges
– Brush top with egg.
– Bake for 25-30 min at 375oF

Can serve 12 people.

(Original post Jan, 2014)

Fête du Travail (Labor Day / May Day)!

Since it was a holiday, I attended a local festival, held annually in a nearby village. The day’s events began with a competition for children from ages 5-12, playing “Boules carré” (square boccia/pétanque balls), instead of the traditional round, with the goal being to get the “boule” closest to the “cochonnet” (smallest one placed as a target).The concours continued at three different areas, as locals acted as officials in measuring distances to declare the points awarded for being the closest. There was a lively atmosphere, with family members coaching and verbally assisting and cheering on the players.

The next event was a “concours de vélos fleuris” (bikes decorated with flowers parade/competition), with children anxiously putting on the final touches/petals on their bikes — one little boy had a “trottinette” (push-type scooter). Some of the children were dressed in folkloric, Provençale costumes to add authenticity to the day! The town’s mayor was present to add local support and encouragement to the day’s events, encouraging the children as they paraded their bikes.

For lunch, there was “Pan bagnat” sandwiches (large roll with tuna, hard-boiled egg, lettuce, and tomato)pan-bagnat, “tarte aux pommes” (apple pie), and of course, a choice of wine, Orangina, and other drinks. Large tables had been placed in the square, with people meeting and chatting in comraderie.

There were dancers in traditional/folkloric costumes doing La Parpaïola, an entertaining and lively band, and a parrot show.

At the end of the day, wine and nibbles were served at one of the (festivally-decorated) village streets, with the band playing, the mayor swaying to the music, and everyone having a festive day!

Photos 2012 © 24/7 in France