Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Tis The Season To Be Jolly"- Chistmas Fruit Soaking For The Traditional Kerala Chistmas Cake

Christmas in November not at all but the preparations have already begun! I found this beautiful poem about Christmas customs evolving through the ages

Christmas customs brighten up mid-winter, says Arnold Kellett's poem, yet at the centre of Christmas there is a simple manger-bed.
"Martin Luther, so they say, 

Placed a candle on a tree 

To bring to mind the bright new star 
That shone on Christ's Nativity

Then, later, Albert, German prince, 

To please Victoria, wife and queen, 

Set up a candled Christmas tree
The first most English folk had seen

And his good mate, Sir Henry Cole, 

To greet his many absent friends, 

Invented the first Christmas card, 
While Dickens boosted Yule-tide trends

With Pickwick, Scrooge and Tiny Tim, 

With goose and turkey, punch and rum, 

With brandy-flaming Christmas pud 
And finger-burnt Snapdragon plum

Then Tom Smith, selling parcelled sweets, 

One night sat by a great log fire: 

The sparks flew up and crackled loud, 
And Christmas crackers did inspire

Then, choicest of Victorian fun, 

The parents' secret worthy cause: 

They fairy-taled Saint Nicholas, 
And turned him into Santa Claus

Christmas customs! Rare romance! 

You colour winter's dreary face

And yet Saint Francis bids you yield 
And give to Christ the central place:

He custom-built his Christmas crib, 

Where Shepherds, Wise Men, gently tread, 

And hold their breath, and dare to peep
At God within a manger-bed."

(Written by Arnold Kellett - Published on November 8, 2010 in open writing)

Christmas is not here yet but its my most favourite time of the year. Love the Christmas season; I was eagerly looking forward to my first Christmas in LA, because I always associated Christmas to the western world, Santa, snow, snowman etc etc... . Nothing fell short of my expectation when I got to see all the Christian and non-Christian homes decorated, churches displaying the huge nativity scenes, malls decorated with humongous Christmas trees and Old men dressed up like Santa (they did look quite real to me). And not to forget the holiday sale…sign everywhere and people spreading the holiday cheer. I just loved it and it was definitely the best Christmas experience I have had.

Growing up in India. Christmas to me was different from what I saw in the US. Christmas to be was about the end of half yearly exams, the school Christmas play, playing chris mother and chris child at school, church carol signing (My sister was in the church choir I got to be a part of it just once :( ), Mala thirunal (the annual feast of St Thomas mount church) hanging up a Christmas star, decorating a Christmas tree, putting up a nativity scene, mommy making achappams and other snacks, eating plum cake and biryani. To me it was the perfect eventful ending to a year.

This year just the four of us will be celebrating Christmas and I hope to make it a joyful Christmas for my kids the way it was for me year after year. And the Christmas preparations have already begun in our house …yes! How about you!


Recipe for soaking fruits for the traditional Kerala plum cake :


Golden raisins -1/4 cup
Black raisins -1/4 cup
Dates (cut into small pieces) -1/4 cup
Apricots(cut into small pieces)- 1/4 cup
Tutti Frutti -1/4 cup
Candied orange peel  -1/4 cup
Rum /Brandy -11/2 cups

You can use your combination of dry fruits or premix fruits from the store , I used medjdool dates. Keep the jar in the fridge and shake it once in a while. The dry fruits need to soak at least for 1 or more week before making the cake. I plan to soak it  for about 4 weeks.

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Hello, Welcome to Eleventeen Recipes and counting authored by me, Shibi. This blog is an outlet to share my love for food, cooking and clicking. It includes a collection of traditional recipes from my mom, mother-in-law, sister and friends kitchens, and a few from cook books, other food blogs, and a few of my own experiments. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome. Thank you.