Hands – A Photo

This picture is from a trip to Nepal in 2006.  It’s a feature of every trekking holiday I’ve been on, that the cook will produce a cake at least once during the trip.  This might have started because people frequently go on holiday around their birthdays, and if it’s your celebration in the mountains, you’ can be pretty sure you’ll get a cake.

In this particular group  there were no birthdays, but, for our excellent cook, that was no reason that there shouldn’t be a cake.  I couldn’t resist the obvious questions: how do they create an oven when all the cooking is done on top of a gas bottle, how do they get it to rise at very high altitude, what are the ingredients?  If they made another one, could I watch how they did it?

Once I’d expressed interest, everyone else wanted to watch too.  Once the Sirdar learned there would be an audience, he wanted to participate in the baking, much to the suppressed but still obvious irritation of the chef, the only person on the team who actually knew how to make a cake under trek conditions.

So, note the dirt floor, the tin of Cadbury’s drinking chocolate,the blue plastic bag of flour, the waterproof jacket sleeves carefully pushed up the arm to prevent dirt getting into the mixture, and the walking boots.  (They were my old boots, and had been tried out by several of the porters before finding their home on the feet of the only person who found them comfortable.)

The cake turned out well.  So next time you’re about to complain about your kitchen equipment, remember this cake, and the dirt floor on which it was mixed, and the converted biscuit tin in which it was baked.

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1 Comment

  1. and did it taste as good as it looks?


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