“Mom what surprise are we getting today?” asked my six year old daughter looking at me with her starry eyes. “Well”, said I, racing my mind to remember the occasion. It was not her birthday. In fact, none of our birthdays fall in the month of November. What could the occasion be? Before I could guess, she said, “It’s Children’s Day today!” “Oh Yes! I quickly said as if I remembered.” “So?” said she, “Well, I will bake a pineapple cake for you” Again racing my mind to remember if I had all the ingredients required to bake one. “And?” said she as if this was not enough. I spoke to my husband and since it was a day after Diwali and a holiday, we decided to take our kids out for a picnic to Kotabagh a scenic village near Kaladhungi.
We packed our lunch and had a lovely time there. Kids enjoyed the beautiful autumn weather, the brook, fields and the forest. On our way back, we saw a small girl and a boy sitting on the road on a tattered sack, selling radish pulled out from their fields. We got talking and came to know that the girl was older than her brother. Her frail figure, torn clothes, dry skin and dusty hair indicated that they lived in abject poverty. And, the girl did not go to school.
Soon her mother joined us. On being asked why did the girl not go to school, she asked that how will it help if she attends school for five years. Since they didn’t have resources to continue further education. It is more important that she learns life skills and the work at home and in the fields that she has do to all her life. They can still try to manage the boy's studies. Well, being an educationist I was at a loss of words to convince her to educate her daughter. She sounded right and yet I was not wrong. My kids realized how lucky and blessed they were. Some people don’t even have access to the basic necessities of life. They learnt an important lesson-We should be thankful for all the good things in life that we take for granted.
Back home, I baked an Egg less Whole wheat Pineapple Cake. The basic Egg less cake recipe is by Nita Mehta.
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup Yogurt
¾ cup sugar (powdered)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pineapple essence
½ cup finely chopped pineapple slices
½ cup olive oil or any other oil
Mix powdered sugar and Yogurt and beat well. Now add baking powder and baking soda. Keep it for three minutes. The mixture will become frothy and will rise up. Add oil and essence and mix well. Now add sieved whole wheat flour in parts. Mix well each time and scrape the sides so that there are no lumps. Do not mix too much. The batter should be smooth. In the end, add pineapple pieces rolled in flour. Give a single stir. Pour the batter in a greased and lined 7 inch round cake tin. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for 10 minutes. Now reduce the temperature to 175 degrees C and bake for 25 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
When done, remove from the oven after 5 minutes.
Invert on the cooling rack.
Slice when cold.
My notes: The cake tastes better after a day. It is soft and moist when had after a day.