Every year, my parents and I crank out our 40-year-old rotisserie (that once belonged to my grandfather), to make roast chicken for Christmas. It is as much about the roast chicken as it is about using this vintage rotisserie that’s special to us. With that on my mind, I reached out to my friends from the food blogging world to share some special Christmas memories with me. Of course, it’s all about food! Here’s what they had to say:
1) Hina Gujral of Fun Food Frolic
Hina was introduced to the world of Christmas treats when she was very young and would visit her friend’s home for the festive season. “My friend’s mother would bake a traditional Christmas cake, kheema patties and old fashioned doughnuts. At that time, I didn’t ask her about the strong, dark flavours of the cake,” she tells me, and would only be too happy when these treats were packed for her to take home. “But now that I’ve baked so many Christmas cakes, mince pies and even Panettone, I realize just what went into it. I miss that time so much!”
2) Zenia Irani of Branded Bawi
“My mom’s friend, Mrs. Fernandez, would make marzipan in the cutest shapes and I’ve honestly never found better tasting ones in the city!” She also reminisces about the Christmas Eve dinners at her grandmother’s place, when the entire family would gather to eat the roast chicken ordered from Candies. “We were about 9 of us who would gather around the table to tuck into the 2 or 3 roast chickens that were ordered. I loved that crispy skin,” she recalls.
3) Riya Patel of Yummy Inside My Tummy
Studying in Mumbai, away from her native city – Bangalore, Riya lets me in on her grandmother’s secret recipe for Kalkal. “Usually, the fried Kalkals are rolled in powdered sugar, but my grandma would dip them in sugar syrup instead!” she reveals.
4) Richa Gupta of My Food Story
The Mangalorean tradition of treats like Kalkal, rose cookies and the empanada-like Neviro, is one that this foodie married into. The three ladies – she along with her mother-in-law and husband’s grandmother, make large batches of these treats to share with family, friends and those in need. “It’s our little tradition,” she smiles.
5) Mhafrin and Shrey of Fat Foodies World
Speaking of traditions, the duo behind Fat Foodies World has one of their own too. Shrey is a vegetarian, but for Christmas, he brings over the best stuffed – roast chicken he can find in the city for Mhafrin – sometimes from Candies or even from the neighbourhood Catholic aunty. “My family didn’t really have a Christmas tradition, but now it’s special,” says Mhafrin.
6) Nikhil Merchant of Nonchalant Gourmand
Christmas celebrations are doubly special for Nikhil, who celebrates his birthday on 24th Dec. Now in LA as the Culinary Director of the soon-to-be-launched restaurant ‘Imli’, he tells me, “Christmas in LA is the same, yet different from my life in Mumbai. My mom is from Goa and we would make it a point to be there for two weeks to celebrate.” This year, he baked a Pecan Pie with dulce de leche, sprinkled with pink salt and, beat this – a 14lb turkey – to celebrate Thanksgiving!
7) Rekha Kakkar of My Tasty Curry
“Christmas became a part of our lives when I married my husband who is an Army man because in the fauj one celebrates every festival,” admits Rekha Kakkar, who apart from her blog and YouTube channel, is also a food photographer. Like Nikhil, Christmas celebrations are doubly special in her family because her son celebrates his birthday on the 22nd. “You’ll always find Christmas Cake in our home during this time,” she tells me.
8) Jahan Bloch of Toxic Baker
Tired of the plum cakes she grew up eating, Jahan has been baking up a storm with Challah, gingerbread cookies, doughnuts and Christmas cupcakes. “It’s only my sister and I who love all this, so since last year I’ve been baking up a storm over Christmas! My dream is to spend Christmas in London though, just that once!” she says.