If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Nov 29, 2007

Swing Low Sweet Sweet

Every year on the 1st of Dec our Christmas novena would begin. An appendage after the daily rosary invoking God's blessings on us thru the soon to be born Christ child. We were'nt happy about the extra prayers time but it let us know that Christmas time was 'a coming.
The marzipan and milkcream forms, the kul kul rollers, the cookie cutters, the tartlet cases, the baby Belling oven, the rolling pins and boards, the kitchen weighing scales, would all be taken down from the topmost cupboard shelves where they rested for most of the year. Mummy's hand written recipe book which held the only perfect recipe for gram sweet in the world would be dusted out. Once again we'd be told about how in the days before kul kul rollers combs would be used to roll the kul kul's out on. New ones we hoped. The purchase department [ Mum ] would have done the necessary invoicing with the treasury [ Dad] and the stores would have enough cashews, almonds, dates, food colors, flours [ yes all kinds gram flour, maida etc. etc. etc. ] Baking trays and butter paper , tissues with Santa or Christmas tree images , paper plates and paper boxes in green and red would be piled high onto the top of Godrej so that nobody sat on them by mistake.
Production would begin. Marzipan had to be stirred clock wise only. From the inside out, like a Well of Death rider . When it did'nt stick to the spoon it was ready. So we frequently checked for readiness holding the spoon just outside the hundi. When it dripped onto the side of the stove our fingers would transport it into our mouths and us to Christmas sweet heaven. There was a special spoon and a special hundi for the marzipan. How else could you keep it whiter than white? In fact there were special hundis for almost every sweet. Lumps of kul kul dough were allocated for rolling. Dates and plums for deseeding. There was the MIA factor . Kul kul dough in the process of being transformed from dough to tightly rolled kulkuls would decrease in mass. Out of 100 dates to be deseeded 20 would be missing in action. If you were caught with the date in your pretending to be empty mouth you got a whack with the belan . Ok rolling pin. When the cake batter had to be transfered from mixing bowl to baking tray it was amazing how much would stick to the sides of the bowl . You have no idea about how tasty raw cake dough is. All of these raw materials would soon make their magical transformation from dried fruits and raw mixes to date rolls, marzipans, coconut tartlets, neoris, milk cream , gram sweet , jujubes, marshmellows, and cakes both fruity and nutty.
They'd go straight to the top of the Godrej ' which was getting crowded. But you needed a chair to reach it and dragging a chair out even if you and brother and sister carried it as delicately as Our Lady of Fatima's statue your Mother heard the air around the Godrej move. So you were doomed to wait until Christmas day before marzipan became sucrose for your growing body.


Anonymous said...

A smile a second, a laugh a minute and do keep in mind that there are some adults around who also want to lick the spoon and swipe the unguarded nut!! We still say our Christmas Novena (and just to jog your memory, fourteen times counted against error on the rosary beads). Christmas carols will soon be released in loud splendour on unsuspecting neighbours - it is, after all, the loveliest time of the year. And now, we can also enjoy the blogspice.

Looking forward to the next instalment on the season. Let's see if you can guess the author of this comment, Clemmie. I promise to sign in with my id the next time. Woof, woof.

Anonymous said...

Pretty accurate what with all the ladies Aunty Agnes included at Father Peters getting ready with the sweets for St Theresa's parish sale & Mavis keeping track in the village of who comes & who goes. Those were the days.

Anonymous said...

Clem took one of you blogs to Marls last night and we cried laughing (it was the May rosary one). We've sent a hard copy to the one and only A Terry and HJ and hope it brings a smile to them too.

A few more ideas for future blogs

Landsend - love on the rocks
Putting up Xmas decorations/Cribs
The Wall gang: Them smoking days - and getting caught
There could be a whole series on "Dog"!!!!!!
Christmas Dance and doing the "Byculla Mecanix jive"

This is not good for Andheri Anadis like me making me all zealous with Bandra Shandra talk, men.


Anonymous said...

I came upon this in my quest to seek out the easiest, least time comsuming recipe for KulKuls. My MIL was a champion at making this. My kids now all grown and parents themselves still remember (every christmas) the damn KulKuls and I thought I would surprise them this year, (probably shock would be more accurate) Anyway, the thing is I read this Swing Low Sweet Sweet and laughed so much, all so familiar. However, I must now continue my quest - I have come across Soojee versions, maida versions, wheat flour versions..the mind boggles. Just glad I made no promises!!! I shall persevere. Thanks for the hilarious distraction.