Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Twelfth Night - Epiphany.

Quite a sad day today as we take down the Christmas decorations, un - decorate the Christmas trees and pack everything away again for another eleven months.
I know many of you did this chore last week but I always like to wait until Twelfth Night - Epiphany, the Christian feast which marks the visit of the Three Kings to the baby Jesus.

google image
I think it harks back to our time spent living in Bavaria when on this day a group of children from the village, known as the Sternsinger, would visit our homes
 dressed as the Three Wise Men collecting donations for children's charities.
They would sing us a song or recite a poem before inscribing
the year, C + M + B in white chalk above the front door. 
 " 20 C + M + B 15".
For a long time I thought the letters represented the names of the Three Magi
 Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar 
but they really stand for the Latin phrase
Christus Mansionem benedicat 
 "God protect this house"

As a treat on this special day I thought I'd take the opportunity to sample some delicious
Downton Abbey tea with a slice of "galette des rois", the traditional French cake eaten on this day.
The tea was a recent gift from my lovely friend Sarah who like me is a big fan of Downton Abbey.

Will I chose "butler's pantry blend"  -premium black tea with essence of honey.
a favourite of Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes or
mrs's patmore's pudding tea - with caramel and vanilla which Mrs P & Daisy prefer?

A delicious confection of puff pastry and frangipane the cake of kings
 contains a small porcelaine figurine and whoever finds it in their slice becomes king for the day.

The Senior Partner and I don't care for frangipane so we ordered a galette des rois with an apple filling, well we are in Normandy after all!

Are you a tea drinker or would you prefer a cup of java with your slice of galette?
I'd love to know.


  1. Hi Maggie! The Downton Abbey tea looks delicious! I think I'll have the Butler's Pantry Blend!
    The magi are so cute! I love that! GREAT post and don't be too sad taking down the Christmas stuff, soon another year will go by and we'll be at it again. Let's think about Easter! Yay!

  2. Maggie, I enjoyed reading about the tradition of Twelfth Night in Bavaria. We've had our Christmas tree and decorations packed away since before New Year's Eve, but many here leave the tree and decorations up till Epiphany. One friend from South America focuses on the the Three Kings for her decorations and has a lovely collection from through the years.
    I'll gladly share a cup of tea and a bite of galette. Think I'll sample the caramel vanilla. I do hope the tea is up to your standards. I've not sampled either of these teas, but I regularly drink ginger peach from Republic of Tea.
    Loved the season opener as well as the special that viewed after. The historical perspective was extremely interesting.
    I'm a committed fan as I know you are. Hugs to you and the senior partner.

  3. I' probably bite into the porcelain figurine and break a tooth! Just kidding. Thanks for noting the day of Epiphany. I have a post about it on Wednesday.

  4. OOh! Downton Abbey tea! Both varieties sound delicious. I'd prefer a cup of tea with my galette, please.

  5. OOh! I love Downton Abbey. I am not a tea drinker but I think Mrs P's favourite sounds really nice. I wonder if I can get Downton Abbey tea here in Australia? I will have to look. And that galetter? delicious. I have made a plum one several times. So yummy. Have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

  6. We do not celebrate 12th night here, nor do e have the delicious looking little cake. I would probably have coffee with it, decaf if at night.

  7. You're not the last to remove decorations. I did take down the Santas and nativity scenes but Snowpeople are coming up! And the trees are still up. I set Lent as my target -- Lent or the first day of Spring -- whichever comes first! But I suspect the large tree will come down over the weekend.

    I would prefer tea if choosing between the two but would rather have a soda or something fizzy -- or at least cold!

  8. Tea please, Maggie. Strong and with milk, if possible.
    When we lived in North Rhineland-Westphalia we encountered the same tradition of marking the door frame with chalk and the letters and numbers. I missed it the first year we were back in Canada.

  9. Hello Maggie, I just blogged about having a cup of English Rose Tea. a canister with the Downtown sisters pictured on the front. I hope to get back to blogging so will visit again soon.

  10. Maggie: I am just discovering your blog, and I'm enchanted! I can see I'm going to have to spend many hours immersing myself in your posts! What a treat! I, too, celebrate Epiphany, as Three Kings Day was part of my early upbringing in Cuba. At first, it seemed important to teach my children this tradition, but now, it's just a lovely way to conclude the Christmas holiday season. I just tried for the first time this year a galette des roi, but my family also was not impressed by the frangipane filling. Maybe next year I'll try making one with apple filling. It sounds like it would be more to our liking.


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