this one, outdoor parties before it becomes too cold, dance and musical performances -The Manganiyar Seduction (an international act of Rajasthani folk musicians performing in 36 boxes stacked one on top of the other in 4 rows) was particularly spectacular! - a children's literature festival called Bookaroo which has managed to reach its third year with much support from enthusiastic parents and children and the driving force of Swati Roy and Sanjay Roy who own Eureka - the children's bookstore.
In December, the 3-day Jazz Utsav was this weekend - we went on Friday, which was the opening day, and were treated to some scintillating performances - especially the one by Ranjit Barot and Talvin Singhs' bands.
The Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF) also began this weekend - it has a smorgasbord of events happening till the 12th December including some excellent classical dance performances and theatre. The first ever exhibition of Anish Kapoor in India - (Anish Kapoor is a celebrated contemporary sculptor), opened this week at the newly refurbished National Gallery of Modern Art - and while I don't pretend to understand contemporary art and installations, I am definitely not going to miss an opportunity to broaden my horizons. As I tell my daughter - its OK to not like something after you have tried it, but you should atleast try everything once.
Then there is the Old World Theatre Festival at Habitat Centre, Christmas fairs organised by the various embassies, the Christmas decorations inside hotels and malls to gawk at....November to February is such a nice time to do things in Delhi - its what makes the rest of the year bearable!
These are some of the pics from the German Christmas Fair yesterday - my daughter and I had a nice time picking through the stalls and looking at the christmas stuff all over. There was a stall by the Swiss German Bakery where I picked up some wonderful baguette and sour dough bread as well as the aromatic Lebkuchen - a traditional Christmas cookie/cake which is quite strongly spiced with cinnamon and cloves. The reason I call it cookie/cake, it though it is a cake, it is not soft, melt-in-the-mouth, but quite crumbly in texture with a nice crust. I was happy with my glass of German beer, a quiche and some bratwurst (which was quite pungent I must say) while K devoured a lovely chocolate croissant.
Anyway, suffice to say that I have enough excuses to have postponed the soaking this long. But I got up early this morning and managed to soak all the dry fruits and nuts. They will sit there for the next two weeks till I bake the cake on the 22nd or 23rd December - the cake tastes better later, as the flavours have time to meld.
'Tis the season to be jolly and all that - well, Peppermill has turned 3 - yes, can't believe it, but my first post was in November 2007. Thank you everyone who reads this blog, for all your encouragement and support and for reaching out to me - I have received much more than I can give, and for that I am thankful.
Don't need an excuse to celebrate though, so if you have always thought of baking a fruit cake, now's the time to start! Its a small list of ingredients and all readily available. For those who don't want to steep the fruits in alcohol, just use orange juice. Also, there are a lot of recipes which recommend "feeding" the cake with alcohol, after its baked (some days before Christmas) till its finally eaten. I don't - I also don't cover it with marzipan icing which is another traditional thing to do. I like my cake slices just as they are - filled with fruit, soft and dense and with that lovely dark colour and rich smell.
These are the ingredients I soak
Mixed Dry Fruit chopped - 350 gms (choose from currants,sultanas,raisins, dates, fig, apricot)
I use equal quantities of currants,raisins, dates,apricots and plums (dried)
The dry fruits are soaked 3-4 weeks in advance in about 1/4 cup of dark rum (brandy can also be used)
For the complete recipe and the earlier post- look here
Or you can also try Chocolate Gingerbread Men or White Chocolate, Cherry and Oatmeal Cookies