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17 Apr 2024, Edition - 3200, Wednesday

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A ceremony without fanfare

Radhakrishnan D


Udhagamandalam: Cake mixing,a much looked forward to ceremony,during this part of the year, particularly in some of the western type hotels of this holiday destination,was gone through in a distinctly different manner at the Hotel Gem Park here on Friday.

With the current virus crisis dictating terms in all walks of life, the Gem Park team organized the ceremony in the usual dignified and solemn manner but sans any fanfare.

With Mr Suresh Nair Deputy Operations Manager Mr. Pradeep Kumar,Food and Beverage Manager and Mr.Surendran,Executive Chef,leading from the front the staff participated in the ceremony,without violating any of the Covid related norms.

Pointing out that, owing to the circumstances,cake production this year will only be to the tune of 65 kilograms,Mr.Suresh Kumar told The Covai Post that the difficult situation and the usual number of invitees and hotel guests being conspicuous by their absence, notwithstanding, the spirit of the occasion was brought alive in the ceremony.

Pointing out that Christmas is no fun without the traditional Christmas cake and making it is not an easy task,he said that preparation begins months in advance. The first step towards making the cake is the mixing process, formally called the ‘Cake Mixing Ceremony’ a ritual religiously followed the world over and said to be a harbinger of good tidings and happiness.

The Stirring ceremony is part of an age old Christmas tradition of cake mixing and making one’s wishes for the New Year. The ceremony marks the mixing of the ingredients including the festive fruits with wine and liquor in
advance so that the they can develop a better aroma and taste. Originally, a family affair, it dates back to 17th Century in Europe. Cake Mixing Ceremony marked the arrival of the harvest season. During this time lots of fruits and nuts were harvested and prepared to go into the making of traditional Plum Cake. The sugar
content of the liquor and fruit juices helped preserve all the ingredients. Also, for the cold Christmassy weather the plum cake was a perfect energy food.

The blend consists of dry fruits like raisins, black currants, prunes, glazed cherries, dates and candied orange and lemon rinds and of course cashews, pistachios and almonds. Then comes the part everybody liked the best- pouring in the liquor, large quantities of liquor, fresh juices, honey are generously added to soak all the mixtures.

Freshly ground spices are added in the mixture and tossed till the fruits and nuts are well coated.

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