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On Maria Goretti's X'mas menu

Actor Arshad Warsi's family talk birds, chocolate cake, chicken vindaloo and marzipan as Christmas cheer comes to town.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 16:32 IST

You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not pout, I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town! The food list is ready, and everything checked twice.

And though the man of the house, actor Arshad Warsi, is out of town, all the preparations are well underway. Mummy-to-be, for the second time round, Maria Goretti claims she doesn't have steadfast Christmas favourites.

But once we're seated and talking at Zeke's and her much loved one-stop food shop - the Bombay Baking Company at JW Marriott, Juhu, one realises that's not true.

Her love for Christmas stems from her childhood memories marzipan, half an inch of wine and countless toasts. "Christmas at the Warsi household is entirely a family affair. It begins with my mom coming over on the 23rd."

"This is the day when most of the cooking is done," confesses Goretti, as she spoons her curly haired two-and-a-half-year-old son cream from a Klimt Torte.

The only thing pending: the Christmas tree is without the pinnacle angel. "Only Arshad puts it up - it's a little tradition we follow," says Goretti, who adds that the fairy lights went up on her birthday on December 8.                              

As for the reason for this early pre-prep, she says, "On Christmas day all we do is chill and enjoy the day with family." This small affair, we are told is, filled with food, sweets, sleep, and more food.

"I bake the cake on the 24th," Goretti claims saying it's the easiest thing to make. "Our Christmas cake is always a decadent chocolate one because though we like rum in the traditional Christmas pudding we can't abide by tutti fruity," she adds.

And the only thing that is made on Christmas morning, after attending a midnight mass the night before is baked and stuffed chicken. What about turkey? "I don't like turkey," she says.

On her Christmas table, the yearly regulars are roast and stuffed bird, cake, lots of marzipan, chops, mutton masala, chicken vindaloo, pork sorpotel (made by Goretti's mom) and pineapple upside-down cake to end.

"There's a potato salad that no one touches, but still gets made every year. I don't know why," she adds .

Her table wasn't always so laden with homemade goodies and all that she claims changed when Zizu, Zeke's pet name, was born. "My mom and grandma were known for their cooking." And though she says she never learnt anything from her grandma, she's making an effort to learn from her mom. "I want Zizu to grow-up and say, 'My mom's food rocks'" she quips.

E-mail author: jharna.thakkar@hindustantimes.com