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Let them eat king cake


A church’s king cake fundraising sale will help feed hundreds of people.

Kevan Goff-Parker January 29th, 2014

Midwest City’s Douglas Boulevard United Methodist Church is cooking up sweet profits for its free meal programs by selling king cakes through Fat Tuesday, March 4.

Parishioner Jenifer Cameron, a New Orleans native, started baking king cakes at the church three years ago as a form of rehabilitation therapy after having seizures in 2009 and subsequent brain surgery, Rev. Jeannie Himes said.

The seizures caused Cameron to lose some of her long- and short-term memory, but her intact baking skills are helping her heal.

“Our church got really involved in baking king cakes because Jenifer is a serious baker and she said she wanted to make this donation,” Himes said. “She bakes king cakes as part of her nostalgia for New Orleans, and baking helps to keep her memories fresh. The reaction to her king cakes has been great.”

She said king cake is traditionally baked prior to Lent during the festival of Epiphany (Jan. 6-March 3). Carnival is more often observed in the Southeast region of the United States, particularly in New Orleans and other Mississippi Gulf Coast towns and cities. Oklahoma City has its hot pockets, too.

The baked treat is part of Mardi Gras traditions and is served throughout the carnival season, which lasts from Epiphany Eve to Fat Tuesday.

Louisiana-style king cakes are glazed and festively decorated with sugar sprinkles in Mardi Gras’ royal colors of purple, green and gold.

Watch your bite; the pastry also often has a tiny plastic baby inside or underneath that symbolizes the baby Jesus. Whoever gets the slice of cake with the trinket is said to be a king or queen for a day, although Southern customs call for the baby prizewinner to provide the next king cake or host the next Mardi Gras party, Himes said.

Himes and Cameron added a twist to that tradition, and these cakes help provide hearty meals to people in the community.

The money raised from the king cake sales benefits the church’s different food-related ministry programs. In addition to having a food pantry, church volunteers prepare and deliver 645 meals monthly through its mobile meals program, Himes said.

The group also prepares and delivers 249 meals to shut-ins with a Saturday supplement filled with nutritious food. Also, every Friday, beginning at 5 p.m., approximately 460 people benefit from the church’s Free Friday meals program, Himes said.

“Our king cake fundraiser is by far our biggest fundraiser for these programs,” Himes said. “Jenifer likes to experiment, has developed her own recipes for the bread. She baked 340 king cakes last year.”

Himes said her modest congregation of about 85 has an active group of volunteers who want to help OKC communities most in need.

Now there are more ways to help, just by eating a traditional baked treat. This year, too, Cameron expanded her king cake offerings to include organic and vegan-friendly varieties, as well as numerous flavor choices such as vanilla with chocolate icing, double chocolate, peaches and cream cheese and others. Diabetic-friendly choices also are available. A small cake costs $10; larger cakes sell for $20.

The church’s king cakes can either be mailed or picked up at the church. To place orders, call 732-3035, visit dbumc.org or contact Cameron at 795-4530.


FOR MORE

Buying a king cake to help feed the community is always a good idea. But here are a few other options to find delicious, locally baked king cakes.

Ingrid’s kitchen
3701 N. Youngs Blvd.
ingridskitchen.com
946-8444

Brown’s Bakery
1100 N. Walker Ave.
232-0363

Whole Foods Market
6001 N. Western Ave.
wholefoodsmarket.com
879-3500

La Baguette Bakery & Café
7408 N. May Ave.
labaguette.com 840-3047
2100 W. Main St., Norman
329-5822
1130 Rambling Oaks Dr., Norman
329-1101

 
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