I wrote this play which is a modern take on Nativity in the year 2002 when I was in college. I had even directed this play at the Annual Christmas Gathering in my college. I had written about the actual nativity incident in my previous blog which of course became famous for its “Oh Shit” line so in this blog I have just copy pasted the original scripts. I had taken a new approach to Nativity by bringing the characters more at home in my city instead of Bethlehem and of course transforming Jesus into a girl child.
My college life was spent in a lower middle-class college in Kolkata known as St. Pauls Cathedral Mission College or in short St. Pauls. This was the very same college where my father and his cousins had passed out from. Nothing had changed according to my father when he visited with me for my admission. The same shaky wooden staircase the same old buildings and classrooms. Trust me it’s the same now even after me passing out of the college some fifteen years ago. What it missed in glamour was compensated in terms of student to student friendship. The reason was quite obvious since classes were not that mandatory and most of the day from morning until late evening we sat around the large football ground talking and enjoying food from the college canteen.
Christmas is not always about cakes for us, it’s much more than cakes when it comes to the season’s cuisine. While most of these are influenced by the west some have evolved over the time to create its own taste. I have written enough about cakes this season thus decided to write about what else the Christian families of Calcutta or Kolkata eat or prepare during Christmas.
I have made quite a few enemies after writing a blog on Baking Christmas Cakes in Kolkata, my friends are now demanding that I treat them with homemade Christmas Cakes. Since it will be extremely difficult to call everyone home for a treat thus I have decided to write a blog on traditional cake shops from where you can buy Christmas cakes this season. Now there are many cake shops and bakeries in the town that sell cakes during Christmas but I feel a shop and its environment also matters much and adds a certain visual flavor to the cakes that it sell.
“Can you please tell me which shop sells authentic homemade Christmas Cakes?” this is one question that many ask me and I keep repeating that homemade Christmas cakes are always different from the ones that you get in the shops. The shops always need to make the cake a bit economical so that selling them brings some profit whereas homemade cakes are created out of love and no price can be put on them. The quality and quantity of dry fruits and nuts are always better for homemade ones. However, there are few shops in the town which comes the closest.
Off late, I have seen many photos circulating on social media on cake mixing ceremony. So much so is the confusion that a friend of mine recently requested me to invite him/her during our cake mixing ceremony at home even to the extent of promising to bring a bottle of rum to add to the mix.
Let’s clear some confusion about Christmas cakes before we proceed. For the record, not all Christmas cakes are made with wine or rum, most are actually pure dry fruit cakes. These dry fruit cakes are of different varieties also, some have the typically mixed fruit (dry), then there are walnut cake, plain cake (only with cashew), cinnamon cake etc. And also for the record a major population of people who bake Christmas cakes do not add wine or rum with their cake batter. The dry fruits are soaked in sugar syrup and dried before introducing to the cake batter.
I hope I have been able to clear some myths and now I am going to talk about the entire process of baking authentic Christmas cakes in Kolkata.
I know its way past the Christmas season but I am sure you will definitely agree that there is no particular season for enjoying a good fruit cake. Many of my friends after reading many of my Christmas and Christmas cake related blogs had asked me about the exact place where the cakes are baked and how it’s actually done. So finally I have decided to spill the bean once in for all so that you know the real mystery behind those delicious pieces of Christmas Fruit Cake.