Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mixing and messing with Rini Pie

During graduation one of our texts was D H Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers and in it we were frequently told how an oven and baking as an essential part of a kitchen in the early 20th century was a very powerful allegory. It stood for the whole act of giving birth and shaping a child. It seemed all too far fetched to me back then.

All those lessons came back yesterday when I and Aarini attended a cake mixing event at The Park. Both of  us were pretty excited about this outing, as it was only about her and me and I had promised her there would be lots of ‘happy birthday’ her word for cakes.


It was a pleasant October morning neither too hot nor cold and we set out on our long drive to The Park in the center of town from our home on the south western fringes of Delhi. Aarini had a lot of questions about the red bus, green bus and blue bus that we spotted on the way which needed answering. Every small thing evokes a question in her and I try my best to give her an answer that’s not far from the truth and yet simple enough for her to understand.  
 With stories about the bhaiyas and didis we would meet soon, to the big big ‘happy birthday’ that Uncles and Aunties would make where we were going, we finally reached our destination.
Spread out in a shady corner by the swimming pool was our space for the day.

Waiting for the promised 'friends' to arrive
 Sacks full of dry fruits of all kinds, spices, vodka, rum, brandy and whiskey on one table with big mixing trays in the center.
On a separate table were laid out marshmallows, cookies, cupcake bases and all manners of toppings. This was especially done to keep the children occupied while the Mom’s got down to the serious business of making the cake mix.
Sacks full of goodies

All lined up to dive into the waiting trays

 Since we were early we had a chance to go around the lawn and Aarini investigated the property like a true detective.
Soon more Moms and kids joined in and the team from The Park’s kitchen as well as other staff members also joined us and we were all set to begin work.
This is how we rest

And this is how we play


In the kiddie corner


Abhishek Basu the Executive Chef who was at hand to take us through the process explained how the Annual Cake Mixing Ceremony till now had been an internal event for the employees. This year they thought of inviting a few Moms and kids to join them in this fun event. Chef At Large helped gather the enthusiastic people.
Soon aprons, gloves and caps were handed around and we were all dressed to mix and mix.
Sack full of almonds, cashew, raisins, dried figs, tutti fruttis and what nots went into the mixing tray and the participants went at it with gusto. The surprise element was finding coins also in the tray. The chefs explained that the coins are considered lucky for those who eventually find them in their piece of cake.
The mixing begins

hard at work

 Next went in the highly aromatic spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon & orange peel and others that created a lovely fragrance all round and one almost believed that Christmas was already here.  Once everything got mixed up well the alcohol was poured in all over and yet another good toss over given to the now delicious smelling mixture on the trays.
In go the spices
The kids in the meantime were kept busy with creating their own cupcake toppings, cookies dipped in chocolate and awesome marshmallows.
We rounded off the fun morning with some fritters, coffee and chit chat under the mellow autumn sun.
All in all a lovely morning spent with Aarini and finally the realization as to how baking and motherhood are indeed so alike. For this world too is like an oven and by ensuring Aarini has many new experiences, I am trying to ensure she develops into a well-rounded person who is at ease with her surroundings wherever she maybe.

Main bhi Chef!

Aarini's cookie




Thanks CAL for helping me spend a nice morning with my daughter J