Anne

A Slice of Home

The other night when my phone beeped with an alert, I checked it and found a Viber text from my elder (and only) sister. It contained just three words.

Soaked fruit in!

I smelled it first. The thick pulpy mush of chopped dry raisins and currants, cherries and more, being removed from a large jar where they’d been stewing in rum or brandy. – They stayed there for a month and were then folded into a creamy concoction, till the entire cake batter got poured into pans and baked.

When I arrive at my sister’s house (very, very soon) I’ll smell them for real then. I might also get to watch some of them being removed from the oven, and I’ll take a seat at her kitchen table, knowing she’ll need some space to set the cakes down on her counter in long rows to cool.

She’ll do that with her usual rapid speed, and with a loud warning to the rest of us to keep our hands off the cakes, because none of it is ready to eat till the marzipan topping isn’t added to every cake, and since that is not going to happen that very day, we’ll just have to control ourselves.

Besides, she’ll add zooming from oven to counter with her hands full. She can’t be bothered to cut us slices even if she wanted to. After all, the remaining mince pies aren’t all ready yet, and she has to see to those aside from everything else she has to do. She’s only managed to make forty five mince pies and now the cakes are going to have to wait!

Forty five, she’ll inform the room, pausing only to huff in the general direction of us lesser mortals, is not nearly enough mince pies for Christmas. And, time is running out! And, now would we all be kind enough to get out of her way and let her work in peace?

The kids will all stare at her. One or two might giggle. A brave soul might try and protest. He/She will receive a look which will make their tongue roll back in their mouth and start to burn with an acidic reaction. My mother will cluck in disapproval at my sister. My sister’s husband will immediately engage my mum in some “very important” discussion. My husband will make faces at the kids and one more might giggle.

A few minutes later while the clucking, talking, face making and giggling people are all gaping at me in shock, I will be happily biting into a thick wedge of richly warm Christmas fruit cake, which I’ll wash down with some nice hot cider, prop my feet up on the kitchen chair, and casually ask my sister if she needs some help.

She will throw me a look which very, very loosely says “Are you fucking kidding me?”

No.” She’ll snap, whizzing back and forth so fast, I’ll be forced to look away lest I get dizzy and drop my delish cake slice.

I can manage.” She’ll say, storming away. “How’s the cake? Do you want more? Here, I’ll cut you another slice. Who else wants cake? You lot may as well eat it now that it’s cut. Kids? Mum? Who wants a mincepie? There are plenty.”

If you think there is no gloating smile on my face at that moment, you’d be wrong.

There always is.

Because, I always get the cake.

cc

I’m not really a big cake fan. In fact, I barely have a sweet tooth (or a sweet disposition really. Coincidence? Hmm) but not all Christmas cakes are sweet, or so sweet they make people groan orgasmically at the first bite.

Ohhh Ohhh this is sooooo goood! More! Gimme morrrre!!! Ahhhh! Mmmmm! That’s it baby! Ohhh yes! Mmmm!

Seriously, orgasmic sounds I always wish I could record and playback for a laugh.

She bakes the best Christmas cakes, my sister. So much so, it’s one of those rare times I actually enjoy sinking my teeth into sugary goodness. It’s why I got her to bake my wedding cake. And, she did. Then she flew in with boxes of it. I don’t want to imagine what those poor customs officials had to go through when they tried to peer into the sealed tupperware boxes at the airport.

I’m the youngest in the family and over indulged, what can I say?

And, I like to tell people my wedding cake was custom made and especially flown in for me. 😉

The best ones she does are traditional cakes loaded with dry fruit and topped with the richness of marzipan.

Seriously, heaven!

She also makes them with no alcohol. Also, seriously heaven!

I will bring some back with me, so if you live in Karachi and want a slice, let me know.

christmas cake 2

There are tons of varieties of cakes baked during the Christmas season everywhere. The traditional Goan Baath cake is also one of my favourites. It’s made of semolina and coconut and has a light, fluffy texture which usually melts in one’s mouth if made right.

I hoard that particular cake and enjoy a slice or two with a cup of coffee late on winter nights.

baath

Another special one for me is the traditional Sri Lankan cake made around Christmas, very simply known as Love Cake. I’m going to let Chani tell you all about it if she does a post on traditional sweets from SL, but trust me guys, it’s one hell of a delicious cake and worthy of its name.

And, I will always be thankful I grew up with many a Sri Lankan family in my neighbourhood and got to stuff my face with plenty of Love Cake during Christmas time.

lovecake

Adding cake to the table today seemed like a good idea, because its one of the stronger traditions associated with the season of Christmas and something most people love.

I trust you’ll ignore how this post just rambled on and quite non-nonsensically. But, short on time and now I must get back to packing.

christmas-cake-slice-christopher-elwell

Enjoy the cakes!

Much love,

Anne

P.S. I’m enjoying all the warm and wonderful comments on the Christmas posts. Thank you for sharing your memories and experiences with us. It’s really adding such a festive touch to the blog, and I’m loving all of it.

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24 thoughts on “A Slice of Home”

  1. The word ” control” should NEVER be used in the same sentence as Christmas cake. And I know EXACTLY what you mean because we make one just like it here and man my legs are going weak thinking of it.

    I will certainly do a post on love cake. And will be baking my batch pretty soon and all are welcome to share 🙂

    Ooh I was gonna try try try and not eat so much this year but one whiff I swear I can smell it too. The mere mention of it has got my tummy growling. And that pic with the marzipan topping…. Heaven!!

    Now that’s why they call it a White Christmas !

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  2. Such a yummy post it was…mouth watering really…especially the detailing that you did for the mincepie..i too myself do not have a sweet tooth..but chocolates,ice-cream and cakes are my ultimate weaknesses…And yes…the pictures were very tempting too..Anne these christmas posts that you are doing are just super…loving every bit of them…Thank You!!! .. 🙂

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  3. All that cake sounds yummy am not a sweet toung person but I love them only when my aunt makes them n she does almost on daily basis she sends mms n I go why am not there.

    But be assured when am there I get the whole cake to my self.

    Thanks for sharing Anne n without forgetting I love the vanilla cake from Magnolian Bakery.

    Mmmmmmh

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  4. I want cake now! 🙂

    Seriously, the best thing about Christmas is the overindulgence in wonderful sweets and good food. Our family doesn’t have a tradition for home making christmas treats, but I’ve set up a tradition of sorts where I spend fairly lavishly on treats that I know we’ll love. Every Christmas my sister and I trundle off to Fortnum and Masons and buy everything we need for the holiday season in terms of cakes, mince pies, preserves you name it….

    Can’t wait to go back home for Christmas…..

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  5. “Ohhh Ohhh this is sooooo goood! More! Gimme morrrre!!! Ahhhh! Mmmmm! That’s it baby! Ohhh yes! Mmmm!…” 😉

    There’s nothing more scrumptious than a rich , soaked in rum or brandy Christmas cake … and the best ones that you get in Delhi are the ones available at a bakery called Wengers in CP … along with all the other Christmas goodies … really looking forward to getting some …
    Cheers and Merry Christmas …

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  6. Cake is my poison and my drug. I have sneaked in the kitchen many a time, plotted hard for the first slice. So all the cake talk is making me hungry, lusty and weak kneed. I want them all now! Lucky Karachi folks!

    I concur Wengers in CP, Delhi make some of the best Christmas goodies. Love the place and so miss it now.

    Would be travelling during X-mas time so hording all the cake and chocos now!

    Happy festive time and Merry Christmas.

    You sister sounds like a MasterChef Rockstar! You pampered sister!

    Blessing for the whole family and all the readers time. Stay safe, healthy and happy you lot!

    Hugs, love and Thank you!

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  7. hmmmm yummy post n my mouth watered alas m not the lucky Karachi citizen *sigh* so I have to kaam chalaoing wid images lol…. btw I m guessing tht lucky girl to b non other than Munchy but m confused too yo I’ll leave tht part. ur sister is just like me when my sisters ask me if there is anything they can help ah it just make da lava to burst but my reply no thank u I’ll manage n they will b like ok… lol loved n thoroughly enjoyed. thanx for sharing
    love n hugs

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  8. Mouthwatering…..yummy…
    U should give us a warning when u write delicious stuff like this coz currently my table mate is staring at me wondering why am I staring at my mob with watering mouth in the library…..

    I want to eat a cake rit now…which s not at all possible and the ones they give us n the mess will make us hate them

    Ha..my bad luck.
    Anyways happy eating

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  9. Mmmmmm…..yum…..I have a sweet tooth so your post was addictive.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful Christmas memories and I love your sister….lol….I am that sister in my house…

    Merry Christmas

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  10. A very delicious post. Enoyed.

    I want to share an interesting thing told by a christian friend of mine. She told me that each family’s cake recipe is unique due to some secret ingredient and that recipe is passed on to the next generation male member of the house. By eating the cake received they could easily tell the family who sent that.

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  11. A delectable post!! 🙂 It brought back many a Christmas memory..foremost the cake baked by my amma..It also brought back memories of childhood where we light up our house, put up stars, decorate Christmas trees, even barged into the neighborhood houses with friends to sing Christmas Carols!! Those memories are treasures..:) Now it is just cake baking and decorating the house 🙂

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  12. My dear Anne, did you have to do this??? You left me mouth watering with all those delicious narration and description…How I wish I was living in Karachi and could get a slice of those yummy delights!! A special hi to your sister and I bow before her for her efforts to make such wonderful delights. She loves you a lot right? while reading all about the custom made wedding cake, could feel it! And I loved this part–

    “A few minutes later while the clucking, talking, face making and giggling people are all gaping at me in shock, I will be happily biting into a thick wedge of richly warm Christmas fruit cake, which I’ll wash down with some nice hot cider, prop my feet up on the kitchen chair, and casually ask my sister if she needs some help.
    She will throw me a look which very, very loosely says “Are you fucking kidding me?”
    “No.” She’ll snap, whizzing back and forth so fast, I’ll be forced to look away lest I get dizzy and drop my delish cake slice.
    “I can manage.” She’ll say, storming away. “How’s the cake? Do you want more? Here, I’ll cut you another slice. Who else wants cake? You lot may as well eat it now that it’s cut. Kids? Mum? Who wants a mincepie? There are plenty.”

    The domesticity and warmth and love it gave me while reading made me smile from my heart! Wish you a Merry Christmas!!!

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  13. *Drooooooooooooooooools*.

    It’s cake, b**ch

    I see you, and I just want to eat you,
    everytime they take you out of the ‘uvvvh-eenn’, just want to walk that extra mile to the kitch-en for you, my stomach definitely has your attennn-tionnn, screw everyone else my mouth is just for you.
    we can get down, like there is no one around -nanananananana
    Gimme gimme, gimme more, gimme gimme more! Moooooore!

    Last night I made rum glazed raisin bars. Success on the second try. I wish we could post pictures here too.

    Your sister is exactly like my Mama, and my dad would be you in the cake’s case.

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    1. Sorry phone error

      I had a big breakfast but these pictures are making me hungry again. So, I’m greedy, and since I can’t make it to Karachi in the near future, you’ll have to be a tad bit generous and ship it here, pleaase 🙂

      I hope you and your beautiful family have a wonderful trip to your sister’s place. Safe travelling and happy holidays!

      Like

  14. Soaked fruit in.. any cake lover will have a cheshire smile. Cakes… I just love them, it’s a shame I can’t bake 😦 When I try baking, it either turns Shira or a hard rock.. My family is terrified of my baking attempts and badmouth it at any given chance.. but I’m not deterred. I loved reading a slice of your home.

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  15. u guys have got us all drooling over cakes how abt baking and sending us some over

    enjoy your christmas with family merry christmas xxxx

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  16. X)!!!!!! It’s wonderful coming across and be a part of Christmas through friends and now my DW (X !! You truly are a blessing and I must say your sister knowsss what she’s doing ;P
    My brain usually agrees more with the salty and sour elements that are detected by my rather discriminatory taste receptors – yes they ought to take the blame because I likkkke what i see! That beautiful artful thing I see I want to be able to indulge and relish! And I do manage to trick my mind sometimes and then to be able to enjoy and spoil myself with that succulent delectable melt-in-my-mouth treat truly feels like a reward from the heavenss (X SOO SOOO GOOD!
    Wishshinngg you a lovely toothsome n all-smiles time with your family! (=

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  17. Annie.
    Is It wrong to comment now? Cuz I have no idea now come I missed this post?
    (Okay I’m very confused I think it’s error … Cuz when I went under your name I could barely see most of the posts … Is this a glinche?)

    Btw it’s almost 4:17am and I’m reading this post after want almost 2 months … And I’m hungry and craving for these cakes … Btw are you from Karachi? For real? Karachi as in Pakistan? :0:0 please do reply I’m curious Annie :0:0:

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