1. King cakes actually refer to Epiphany, which is when they begin to be available in the local bakeries. The king cake celebrates when the tree kings come to worship the infant King. There is a tiny plastic baby hidden inside the cake. Presumably for legal reasons, the bakeries put the doll inside the box, but not inside the cake, so you have to hide it yourself.
2. Strawberries are also in season around here, so here's one way I enjoy my king cake:
3. As my husband would point out, traditional king cakes are not filled. They are just a sweet bread with colored sugar on top.
4. While we haven't been to any parades yet, there were several last weekend, with more this weekend and Monday and Tuesday. If I manage to get my camera to a parade, I'll post pictures.
5. There are actually two reasons to put your hands up as the floats are going by at a Mardi Gras parade. People throw things from the floats: beads, cups, doubloons, stuffed toys, and other random things. Sometimes these things are thrown rather hard, so you put your hands up to catch things, but also to protect your face.
6. Safety rule: Don't bend down to pick up a doubloon while the float is going by; people around you are paying attention to the things still being thrown from the float, and your hand may get stepped on. If you want it, put your foot on it and wait until the float has passed to pick it up.
7. For those of you who may have heard otherwise, most of the parades are family-friendly fun. In fact, the people who end up with the most beads and other trinkets at the end of it are under 12; the men on the floats love to throw things to kids.
Betty Beguiles is hosting 7 Quick Takes this week.