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Updated: November 29, 2010 16:48 IST

Celebrate the Christmas spirit

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Mega mix: Of the hristmas cake. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam
Mega mix: Of the hristmas cake. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

A 17th century tradition still holds for the festive season.

It is not yet Christmas, but the intoxicating aroma of the cake mixing ceremony at The Gateway Hotel brought alive the rich tradition heralding in the spirit of the festival. Mounds of brown dates, black raisins, red cherries, cashew nuts, topped with cardamom, pepper and other secret spices, were placed and then the ceremony began.

Armed with gloves, the hotel guests and staff poured bottles of liquor and wineinto the fruits and mixed till the dry fruits soaked in the liquor heralding the magic days before Christmas.

Mix to mature

“The cake mixing ceremony is done days ahead of the season. Dry fruits, nuts are soaked in wine and liquor, mixed thoroughly and kept for maturing for a few weeks,” The hotel's General Manager Mahipal Singh said.

This age old tradition that dates back to the 17th century in Europe marked the arrival of the harvest season.

Originally a family affair, it is for many years was celebrated by organisations to bring about camaraderie and goodwill.

After kneading, the mixture was emptied into large vat like containers and stored away till just a couple of days before Christmas, with occasional stirring, to ensure the nuts soak till they are swollen.

Illustration: Sreejith R. Kumar

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