Monday, January 08, 2007

Christmas Visiting

It is the last day of Christmas - Epiphany, or the Feast of the Three Kings, hence appropriate to talk about Christmas visiting.

As a child, we used to visit members of the extended extended family over Christmas. I remember especially visiting my grandaunts. One lived in a house with a giant. The proof was the very high doorway in one corner, and the giant's fork and spoon which hung on the wall. My brother and I were terrified of the giant, but this aunt served especially delectable pineapple tarts and muruku so we would go anyway. Plus of course we did get a present or two.

The other two grandaunts lived across the road from each other. I like the idea of keeping in shouting distance from your family members. And it must have been wonderful for the children of both families to grow up together. After my grandaunts and their husbands passed away, one family sold up and moved away. But the other remained in their old house (renovated considerably) and they invited us for a Christmas/New Year's lunch just a few days ago. I shall not recount what transpired at the lunch because this has already been admirably done by a fellow guest (see Mandy's post, on Christmas Cheer). I shall only add, that I spent much time trying out my new camera to take photos of the birds, fish and flowers mentioned in her post:

The food was catered by Quentin's, the subject of an earlier post. Except for the dessert which was baked by the ladies of the house - rich, dense fruit cake and rose-flavoured love cake - a particularly sweet memory of Christmases past. Love cake is a Sri Lankan/Ceylonese dish, which is pretty appropriate as the patriarch of this household was a house-proud Ceylonese burgher. Here is a link to a love cake recipe (note, not the love cake recipe) for those who want to know the ingredients. But knowing the recipe is by no means the same as knowing how to bake the cake (and the good news is that the family takes orders!).

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