Don’t Leave the Knife in the King Cake Bag…Or I’ll Cut You

Tomorrow is Kings’ Day, which means, in the immortal words of Al Johnson, it’s Carnival time! Even this year, without parades, there is still something to celebrate. Because you can’t cancel king cake! What a privilege to live in a city with a themed desert and a season that’s all about celebration! But, with great privilege comes great responsibility. Let’s talk about king cake. More specifically, let’s talk about the undertaking that is cutting the king cake. I’ll cut to the chase here.

Don’t leave the knife in the bag.

I know, I know. It’s an unpopular opinion that directly conflicts with the laissez-faire attitude of New Orleans. And yet, I police the bag. I fuss about knives left behind and fallen clusters of icing and sprinkles. You might as well just call me King Cake Karen. I will retrieve that knife every night. And I implore all you knife abandoners to change your ways and do the same.

Why does it matter?

  1. It’s sticky. In no time, that knife handle accumulates icing, colored sugar, maybe even sprinkles and filling. Who wants to touch the knife with all that clumpy, caked on—no pun intended—sticky goodness? Not me. You have to dig in the bag, get the knife, get your piece. Now your hands are sticky from the knife and you’re going to get all that stickiness all over the outside of the bag. Straight savage. Don’t leave the knife in the bag.
  2. We lose knives. When we got married nine years ago, we started our life together with twelve Lennox place settings. We are currently down to nine knives. I know in my soul that the missing three were thrown out with king cake bags of past Carnival seasons. Now, you would think it’s not so difficult to check the bag before throwing it out with the trash, but alas, it does not appear to be so simple in my home. Don’t leave the knife in the bag.
  3. Someone doesn’t realize there is already a knife in the bag. They bring another, and now there are TWO knives in the bag. It becomes this vicious cycle, and before you know it, you’re rushing around one morning trying to butter toast and BAM! No knives and now your kids are late for school and you have to put on a bra to walk them into the office. Don’t leave the knife in the bag.

But what if you don’t choose this battle?

Okay, so I know most of you are nodding your heads furiously in agreement, waving your fists saying, “Right on, you beautiful genius!” as you read this. And yet this will still not be a battle you choose to fight with your family. That’s okay. I have the solution. Obviously my favorite—and the most correct—way to deal with the king cake knife is to use it, rinse it, and place it directly into the dishwasher where it belongs. However, this year, as part of my growth mindset of 2021, I’ve decided to compromise a little bit. I went out and purchased a designated king cake serving utensil. I won’t go cold turkey and just leave it in the bag. However, what I will do is use it, rinse it, and leave it near the king cake to be utilized throughout the season. I’ll get around my usual rule by telling myself that it’s whimsical and doubles as another Mardi Gras decoration. Wish me luck.

What does your family do? Whatever it is, here’s to a beautiful, delicious king cake season!

Alyson Haggerty
Alyson lives in Metairie with her husband, Patrick, their two boys, and their Morkie, Beignet. After teaching for almost ten years, she left a career in education, earned her BSN, and now works as a pediatric emergency nurse. In her free time, Alyson enjoys flipping furniture, writing, dancing, and painting. She is always looking for a racquetball partner and loves streetcar rides and playing board games with her family. A good cook, she is constantly on a quest to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” but has thus far been unsuccessful.


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