>It all started with Agent Green Glass’s plaintive cry for a Christmas party invite. Like any chivalrous blogger I offered to host a party. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t met yet. AGG had promised not to empty all the bottles after all. And had offered to perform what we called a ‘variety show’ in Calcutta. And get a one man ‘Orchestra’ too.
A few comments were exchanged, plans were made and fellow blogger, Cloudcutter, offered to get Christmas Cake (for moi) and rum balls for all. K was updated on the blog chatter. A few more friends called. The lone vegetarian warrior H. And M who was missing Bangalorean Christmases. Another Ms M who shared the same birthday as J C and we were ready to roll for the first Finely Chopped Christmas bash.
We live in a Catholic society and it seemed as if the building was dressed up for our party. You get a sneak peak of the rather shy Princess Lea in the picture below.
I have always had a Christmas tree at home while growing up. From real ones in the UK to artificial ones in Calcutta and then the one we made at my Grandmom’s place with a dry branch and paper trimmings which saw me through till I left Calcutta. Ten years in Mumbai and we finally bought our first Christmas tree from Hill Road this year. I had to make two trips after I was berated for my spartan approach to trimmings by the Missus.
And then the Santas dropped in for the party. H with a sepia globe to go with the study and birthday girl M with another (!), more distinguished tree. So no tree for ten years and then suddenly two.
Yo ho ho
And then the games began. The crowd began to grow well beyond what we started with. Like a well baked cake. Bloggers (Mentally) , colleagues, college bonds discovered (Mentally and M, Apu and me), food lovers, neighbours and ‘young’ Jo Jo dropping in straight from Delhi airport into our lives… all sorts of connections were made over guitaring, some soulful serenading, cake cutting, a Bachanalian haze and our busy hostess running in with supplies from the kitchen… nursing a sore throat with green tea.
JC’s wasn’t the only birthday that was celebrated. Everyone gravitated to birthday girl M as she cut the cake which Cloudcutter had baked. The cake turned out to be the centre of attraction.
In case you are wondering, Cloudcutter prefers to remain an anonymous baker, and isn’t in the pics.
How good was the cake? Well I woke up next morning and I saw my diet evangelist wife, who couldn’t drink water because of a sore throat, in the fridge with her face covered in cake, moaning in joy.
Cakes and ale
The morning started with a couple of young girls in our building coming over with a treasure trove of local Christmas goodies. Well, as they say, morning showed the day.
This was followed by a lovely cocktail lunch at the house of the other M. A great hostess who was trying to rekindle memories of Christmas in her home town of Bangalore.
Then our evening of cakes and ale began. You have heard of the birthday cake made by Cloudcutter. Then there were the rum balls that she got for the party. Bundles of high spirited choco raisin mouthfuls of ecstasy. A sampling of one of the twenty Christmas cakes that she had baked. Accompanied with wines from the various Santas.
I wanted to have a Goan Catholic theme for the dinner. A tribute to the Catholic neighbourhood of Bandra which I call home.
So Candies it was. I placed my order the previous day. Mutton chops (mince meat in mashed potato fried in bread crumbs) which birthday girl M who avoids mutton polished off in glee. Prawn puffs made with Goan rechado masala livened up the party.
Don’t go by the pictures below but we had two amazing dishes for the dinner. The sorpatel was perfect. Slightly sweet in a Goan fashion. The chopped pork was tender and juicy with tiny blobs of fat.
And there was the Goan fish curry. I am not too fond of fish curries from the West Coast. But the one at Candies was phenomenal. The curry was slightly sweet, had a tomato base, the spice was just right and very polite, not fiery. Long, timid green chillies to add a bit of sauciness.
Cloudcutter, a Goan with a point of view on food, approved both the dishes. As did the Bongs approve the alu dom which we made with Cookme packaged masala.
The find of the evening was Bangaluru M. She has flair for the the heady stuff which amazed us all. She created magic with chocolate cubes, a copper bottom pan and some neat rum and Scotch.
A fantastic close to a great night with friends, food, fun and frolic which brought back memories of many Christmases of yore for K and me.