How can I leave my blog untended on the last day of the year? It would very insensitive of me to do so. The very space that gave me an outlet to all my creative pursuits and my random meandering thoughts needs an acknowledgement on the last day of the year. If you refer to my last post, it was bit pessimistic in its tone and pessimism isn’t the essence of my blog. I created this space to celebrate all the beautiful things and relationships in my life; my beautiful family, food that I love, my beautiful memories and in midst of that just to balance the mood, a few not-so savoury memories as well. When I think of the New Year, I want to feel optimistic and hopeful and happy. And so it was important that I write this note as the last one for this year and celebrate it with something absolutely spectacular like a Cranberry Upside Down Cake.
Before I get into the recipe and beautiful thing that this Cranberry upside down cake is, I need to mention something. My previous post got plenty of mixed reviews both online and offline. The post was about what the things I could have done differently in 2012. One person in particular whom I admire a lot pointed out that I needed to also look at what wonderful things have happened in 2012. There are plenty of wonderful things that happened in 2012. I shall list out each and every milestone of 2012 with every intention of celebrating it in this post.
1. I GOT A JOB!!!! – After searching for more than a year, I was growing despondent with each passing day. I couldn’t see a single ray of light when each interview or job opportunity fizzled out. Nearly 3 years of being out of work can do a lot to damage one’s confidence. I didn’t feel up to it and doubted my abilities. I must also add I am extremely self-critical and for that reason I beat myself down more than anybody in my place would normally do. I had taken a break to raise Mimi and when it was time to pack her off to school, it felt like a great time to get back on the job front. Finally my prayers were answered and I found a job with a very reputed firm. This I would be the biggest milestone in 2012.
2. My baby started school – It was with great trepidation that I let Mimi go and attend school. To most with whom I shared the news told me that she was too young to go to school and to this date she is one of the younger kids in her class. But something told me that she was ready. Mimi has always been extremely independent, eager to explore and not scared of the dark or dinosaurs( I am letting you out on a lil secret here; the only thing she is scared of is ‘silly gilly gambo’ and I haven’t the faintest clue who or what that is. It is her own invention but the very mention of it leaves me in splits). She adjusted quickly and loves going to school every single day.
3. My brother’s wedding – My little brother ( not so little anymore), got hitched!! His wedding was just a fantastic affair, that the entire family shall treasure the beautiful memories forever. It was a joyous occasion and everybody who was near and dear was able to participate in it. I wish him and his beautiful wife a wonderful and a prosperous New Year.
4. The launch of My beautiful Bahrain – A mesh mash of stories of, from and about Bahrain came together in a single book. Another awesome milestone of my life and not just this year. I can proudly tell my grandchildren some day that I wrote or atleast I was one of the co-contributors in a book. I have harped about it so many times on this blog already and I can’t have enough it.
5. We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary – Unbelievable!! Seven years of being together and it feels so effortless. My hubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary on Christmas day ( there is no excuse to forget this date). It was a working day in Bahrain. We managed a lunch together midst our busy schedule and planned to stay in for dinner. It was a quiet sort of day but it meant so much just knowing that he is around and he hasn’t changed ( not much atleast) over these 7 years. It was a warm, fuzzy feeling to know that we celebrate our precious daughter every single day.
6. My parents built a beautiful home – My wonderful parents displayed such fantastic project management skills when they spent day and night planning their new home. The end result was nothing less than spectacular. We had the opportunity to spend about a week in their beautiful home and I observed how the smallest details were taken care of. I am immensely proud of my parents who carried out this mammoth project with enormous patience.
7. Mimi is the cutest kid in Bahrain – Mimi won a Facebook contest called the cutest kid in Bahrain. This contest was hosted by Summer Weeks who is a professional photographer in Bahrain. I had to send Mimi’s picture to her and Summer uploaded that on her page. And all that was needed was to get maximum number of people to ‘like’ Mimi’s photograph. My family and friends (grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles and aunts, friends and their friends) gathered forces and helped Mimi win this contest. The prize as a part of winning the contest was a professional portfolio by Summer Weeks herself. We went to Summer’s studio on the 22nd of December and Mimi was photographed for her portfolio. It was exciting to win a contest and the competition was tough. It was more thrilling for the parents than the children themselves and Mimi hadn’t the slightest clue what was going on. But it feels great to be the mum to the cutest kid in Bahrain.
There have many such beauteous occasions throughout the year that brought such joy and happiness. I am thankful to God for everything that I have in my life right now and wouldn’t change a thing about it.
To mark the end of 2012 which has been wonderful to us and our family, I made a lovely cake from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. I love Nigella because she never ever lets me down. Her recipes are simple to follow and her no fuss attitude infuses confidence. A little crack here or a slip up there in following instructions doesn’t disappoint. Au contraire, the result is very delicious and extraordinary.
I made the cake in my new food processor that my hubby gifted me for our anniversary. It was such a non fussy recipe to follow that I know it by heart now. My recent trip to the market had me buy a big bag of extremely bitter and sour cranberries. Since I had never tasted cranberries before, I got tempted and bought an entire bag for an enormous price. I soon realized that I couldn’t ever finish those cranberries and popping each bitter berry felt like a punishment. Finally I flipped open my favourite cook book – Nigella’s “How to be a Domestic Goddess” and fell into the preparation of this magnifique cake.When I flipped the cake upside down, that sight that greeted me filled me with great joy.
The crimson cranberries laced with syrup looked like melting rubies on a crown.
Food makes me very happy, and beautiful food, even more so. My day was made when it got an exciting response from my family and friends. I hope you try this recipe as its extremely easy to pull it off. It requires just about moderate effort and the outcome is fabulous. I love such recipes and that is why Nigella is my guru.
I did not have a tarte-tatin pan so I used a spring-form pan and it didn’t affect the outcome at all.
I wish each and everyone of you a fantastic New Year. Hoping that all your dreams come true in 2013 and let the New year fill you with the passion to follow your long cherished dreams.
See you in the next year!