It Still Feels Like Christmas

When the holiday season is over in the US and trees have been dismounted and packed in the attic or discarded along the sidewalk, the festivities are not yet over in France. Or for some French people I know who live in the States.

Okay, our decorations and seasonal china are stored away, our lights are down, and our tree is partially down, too.



But for one sweet day it still feels like Christmas in my French American kitchen.



Today is Ephiphany, celebrated twelve days after Christmas. In a number of countries the day marks the end of the season while for others it is the pre-Lenten celebrations of Mardi Gras/Carnival. I already wrote about this celebration and its meaning, here, here and also here. In case you want to refresh your memory!

In France the celebration lasts for more than a day. I know…

Some people always find great excuses to eat more dessert. Why did I move away already?

In fact, many French bakeries and pastry shops display their galettes des rois or kings’ cakes around Christmas time and will sell them until the end of January.

I’ve always celebrated here in the States. With various levels of success, I must admit.

For several years now I’ve stuck to one recipe. Since it comes from a children’s magazine, it’s super easy and solid. But one of my goals for 2017 (not resolution, remember) is to try as many new desserts as possible.

Better start now, right?

So for my 2017 galette des rois I thought I would add a handful of crushed pistachios to the almonds to make the paste. Pistachios are a big part of my life now, so this small tweak would be my French American signature.

I got the idea as I read David Lebovitz’s yummy blog. He is American but lives in Paris. I know…

But when I searched my pantry, no pistachios. I got some in my stocking, so someone must have raided the pantry during the holidays. So I stuck to my old recipe.


No pistachios but…


I found the little porcelain token in my slice. We call it fève in French, from the old tradition to fold a bean in the pastry dough. This makes me queen until tomorrow morning. And my husband king, by default.

La Galette des Rois has also been one of my kids’ favorite French desserts. The cake used to be too small for their appetite.

Now of course, the cake is too big for one meal.



But the leftovers will still feel like Christmas… tomorrow morning.









  1. Beverly Broughton says:

    I love your food posts…they motivate me to get to my cookbooks and try something new and meaningful (as yours!)

    • You know, it’s funny but as soon as I started to add a dessert I realized that almost everyone likes food and that books and cooking go well together. Thank you for stopping by and let me know what’s going on in your kitchen this winter.

  2. Behind the Story says:

    Congratulations, you’re the queen. I remember reading about that last year.

    All my kids and grandkids were here for Christmas and New Years. I had the big grandchildren, who came early, help me set up the tree, and the little grandson and his mom help me take it down on New Year’s Eve. I still have some odds and ends to tidy up, but it’s nice to have the help with the main things.

    • Kings’ Day is always a fun celebration. Especially with young kids. I’m glad for you that you had company over for the holidays. Much nicer too. Again, with kids it’s always more joyful. And they certainly can help with much more than sometimes we think. See you around, Nicki.

  3. Great post. So enjoyed reading. I enjoy reading about the French traditions or anything to do with France.

    • Thank you! I appreciate my native traditions even better now that I’m away. I also wanted my American-born children to know how I grew up. When it involves food it’s always easy!

  4. Sounds and looks delicious!

  5. ça m’a fait sourire de tomber sur ce billet alors que nous venions tout juste de manger la nôtre de galette 🙂 c’est ma fille aînée qui a eu la fève cette année, mais j’avoue que nous avons donné un petit coup de pouce au sort pour lui faire plaisir

    • C’est amusant! En fait, lorsque j’ai découpé la galette mon mari a vu la fève qui dépassait un peu. De ma tranche sans doute. Mais il a aussi insisté pour que je l’aie. Je suis très peu chanceuse pour ce genre de choses et je n’ai été reine que très peu de fois dans ma vie. 🙂 J’ai choisi mon mari pour roi. Of course.

  6. We didn’t have such a sweet tradition where I grew up in Germany. Did children in France dress up as the Three Kings, come to your door, and bless the house and family? Even though this is a Catholic custom, a lot of Protestant families participate nonetheless, even today.

    • No, we don’t dress up and visit people. We only eat the cake. You know how we are, us French people and the food 🙂
      In France also lots of people share a galette, regardless of religion. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your comment.

  7. I can happily relate to you goal 🙂

    • Ha ha! Yes, I like my goal too. In fact, I already found a January recipe that I never tried, although it is a very old one, from my husband’s family. I will share it soon on a blog post since there is a story attached to it. See you, Marilyn.

  8. I hope you enjoyed the epiphany celebration Queen Evelyne! And may you eat as many desserts as possible this year 🙂

  9. Queen Evelyne has returned to her regular status. But she is looking forward to many more desserts. Her weakness after books and music (or with them!)
    Thank you, Andrea!

  10. Looks delicious. Over the years, I’ve narrowed down to a few specific desserts I make each year for Christmas. I enjoy baking and candy making but sadly really only do it around the holidays these days. Good luck with your goal of trying as many new desserts as possible this year.

    • It’s not too hard for me because I love desserts! But I try to make healthy cakes with different flours and less sugar. So it’s more challenging. I’ve never made candies, though!

  11. The house always looks so empty when the festive decorations are down. I’m still drinking coffee from my Spode Christmas mug – just not ready to tuck it away. And, we are the only home with our lights still up. They make me feel like I live in a magical place.

    • We usually keep everything up until January 6, Epiphany Day, but it seems that more and more people pack all lights and decorations right after Christmas. A little rushed to me! Enjoy your magical place, Claire.

  12. @”La Galette des Rois has also been one of my kids’ favorite French desserts.” – not’ fille et son époux américain l’adorent, aussi… ils en ont profité au max avant de rentrer à San Francisco, ya 10 jours… 🙂
    * * *
    une excellente semaine, amicales pensées et à+! 🙂 Mélanie Bedos-Nicolas

  13. Ahh…tres bien Evelyne! I love this post; your enthusiasm for desert shines through and has made me homesick for your rural France, as we are overdue for a vacation there! We too keep our decorations up until the 12th day of Christmas and I could never get over how my American neighbours were done and dusted by Christmas Day in some cases! Not even a Boxing Day! Pistachios or not, your galette des rois was obviously a great hit as always…love your Christmas tree too and Baba on the recipe…sweet memories indeed, delightful post my friend 🙂

    • I LOVE desserts, Sherri. I try to move toward some with as less sugar as possible and alternative flours to make them as healthy as possible. But some must remain the way they are. La Galette des Rois being one of them. Hey, it’s only once a year, anyway!
      Babar is an old childhood friend, for sure.
      And yes, I keep my holiday decorations until early January. Because it’s also only once a year.
      Take care, Sherri. See you on your blog.

      • Ha…exactly! Sometimes, the original recipes outdo all the healthy options and must not be changed…especially as it’s only once a year! Christmas is the one time to keep those traditions going for as long as possible, which makes the annual celebration all the more special. Lovely chatting Evelyne…you take care too and see you soon!

  14. Really interesting, thank you for posting it !
    I invite to my Christmas posts. F. ex. Christmas in Madrid:

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