December has always been my favourite month. Growing up in Bangalore we were exposed to a myriad of exciting things to do- carol singing, concerts, presents and of course the excitement of hovering in the kitchen on the pretext of helping our mum, and sampling all the goodies we could. Christmas is a wonderful season of bonhomie and goodwill. It was the time we shared our goodies with all the community and enjoyed different kinds of cakes, sweets & savouries. My favourite Christmas activity has always been singing and one of my favourite songs “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”.
Back then we did not really know what it meant, but we mastered the song and entertained many an audience until we left Bangalore for Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia. This year I wish to share 12 recipes for the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Have fun, enjoy yourself and may you be doubly blessed.
Recipe No 1: Candied Peel
Christmas Cake is a must for this season and there are numerous recipes for it. Every family has their own tried and trusted recipe and so do I. Candied peel is an absolute must for the traditional Christmas Fruit Cake and I have been making my own for ages. My Mum & Dad always had bottles of delicious brandied fruits in their kitchen cupboard which we kids would dip into whenever we fancied ( unknown to them).
Rind of 4 oranges, neatly quartered.
1 cup sugar, 3 tbsp rum or whisky
Place orange rind in a heavy bottomed pan and pour in just enough water to cover it. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until soft. Stir in the sugar and bring to the boil again. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool , cover and keep overnight. Next day boil again and simmer for 5 minutes. Repeat the third day. By this time most of the water would have evaporated and the orange peel will be dark and the syrup thick and aromatic. Completely cool and bottle. Pour the rum or whisky on top. Store indefinitely until required.
NB: This can be made earlier and stored. I usually make mine in January during the orange season.
Learn how to cook a traditional Indian meal using recipes that have been inherited from my great-grandmother.