A trip to a nearby village in the foothills was planned long ago but the trip materialized only this weekend. Sometimes when the monotony of the work inside and stress of the work outside gets too much, a date with nature restores normalcy. It is a great balm for the jangled nerves.
We watched a herd of cows raising a thick cloud of dust and disappearing in the hillocks. After a while only the bells around their necks, tinkling rhythmically were faintly audible. Through thickly foliaged Saal forest, we could see the setting Sun and the endless stretch of tomato fields bordered with marigold imbued in the golden hue.
Some fields were being ploughed and the cattle egrets were inspecting the freshly turned earth for their catch of insects and worms.
Some hens too, were ambling around kicking hay occasionally. Life had its own placid pace………everything looked so tranquil….so beautiful.
We packed our lunch and I baked a Vegan Orange and Dates cake the previous day for the trip.
The cake had moistness and flavour of oranges and sweetness of dates.
Vegan Orange and Dates Cake (Low Fat, with Whole Wheat Flour)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cups all- purpose flour
½ cup sugar (powdered)
1/3 cup olive oil
25 soft dates pitted and chopped
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
A pinch of salt
Finely grated zest of 3 oranges
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and dust the sides and line the bottom of one 7 x 7 inch square cake pan.
Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Blend dates and 1 cup orange juice to get puree. Add white vinegar, sugar and oil and mix well. Add zest.
Mix dry ingredients to wet ingredients till well incorporated. Add some more orange juice only if the batter feels thick.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven after 5 minutes and remove from the pan after another 5 minutes.
Cool in the rack and slice next day. The cake tastes better next day and best after two days.