It’s Epiphany. The holiday where the Magi showed up and gave Jesus presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh, not the sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience. (Thank you, Websters.) It was always an overlooked holiday in our household. It’s 12 days after Christmas. The presents have been opened, decorations are being packed up, tree is usually out the door, and the kids are back in school.
My lovely neighbor, Barbara greeted us this evening with an invitation to join them for a Three Kings cake, or a Dreikoenigskuchen. It’s how the Swiss celebrate Epiphany. They bake this bread and you can only get it for 2 or 3 days around Epiphany. If you miss it that is too bad for you! The Dreikoenigskuchen is totally delicious. It’s really more of a sweetened bread that typically holds some raisins and is topped with large chunks of sugar and almonds. Usually you have it for breakfast, but it is sweet enough to have it as a dessert.
One of the rolls around the edge contains a hard plastic King about an inch long. Whomever gets the King gets the crown on top and you get to be king or queen of the day! You rip the bun apart first – usually in half – so that you find the king before you either swallow it or break a tooth. It’s quite fun!
Of course I immediately texted Mark to bring home one of these for us so he could experience the fun of Epiphany.
We each picked a roll from the outside and once we all had one we tore into them. And guess what??
If you want to bake one there are recipes all over the Web. Instead of a plastic king you can use a whole almond. I think I might experiment with some of these recipes. It looks very similar to a cinnamon roll dough recipe. I’m sure the children won’t mind. They not only ate the Dreikoenigskuchen at Barbara’s, but also their share of the cake after dinner at our house!