It is the twelfth day of Christmas, the baubles are taken down from the tree, and the family is slightly sad. However, there is one last celebration, for it is the day to call the Three Kings to witness baby Jesus in the stable, ‘ l’Epiphanie.’ So, they will share, and eat of La Galette des Rois ( Kings cake ).
Sylvie, Thomas and Sophie wait impatiently for the hour of ‘goûter’, the four o’clock ‘taste’. Maman has bought the Kings cake, and it sits at the centre of the table. Sugary, flaky layers of pastry, and sticky frangipan in the middle. On top of the cake sits a golden paper crown, studded with red and green gems. Hidden inside is ‘la féve’, a tiny porcelain figurine. Who, or what will it be, and who shall find it? And who will wear the crown?
For once, Sophie is happy to be the smallest, for she is called by Maman to hide under the table, and call out the one who will have the first slice of cake, “Tomas”, next “Papa”, then “Silvie”, then “Maman”, and finally, “Moi”!
Out from under the table, she is handed her plate, carrying her slice. With mischievous glances at one another, each bites cautiously, and peer into their cake. Nothing. Another bite. Nothing. And yet another bite. Suddenly Sylvie squeals, “Elle et pour moi!” She points at her cake, and there it is, a little star. On it is painted a tiny red brown fox with a bushy tail, and yellow dots as stars. Sylvie is delighted, and holds it up for all to see.
Ceremoniously Maman takes the golden crown, and lays it on Sylvie’s head, for she has been elected the Queen of the day, and she will have, whatever she wants!
‘La Galette des Rois’ will be shared between family, friends, and colleagues, from l’Epiphanie to the eve before Lent..