Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the King Cake...or as I now like to refer to it, "The New Orleans version of manna from Heaven." Last week was 12th Night, which (I think--still not fully up on all of the festivals and carnivals here) marks the beginning of carnival season here in New Orleans and the arrival of the King Cake. I'd heard tales of these mythical King Cakes but this past weekend was my first up-close-and-personal experience with one...and OH MY LORD, are those things laced with cocaine? To say that I'm now mildly addicted may be the understatement of the week. We bought one Saturday night and I've managed to devour most of it already. Yes; almost a whole cake in just over 24 hours...don't judge me. And this one wasn't even anything special; just one we bought pre-made from the grocery store. This particular cake was stuffed with cream cheese (and maybe heroine), but apparently they came in lots of other flavors too. I can't even imagine how good some of the homemade cakes must be. I'm craving King Cake as we speak come to think of it and I think I'm exhibiting mild withdraw symptoms. I figure, at my current rate of consumption, I will gain approximately 14 pounds by the time Mardi Gras actually rolls around.