Initially, this post started out as a well manicured little note on community. I had lofty ideas on writing about the Israelites as a community during their time in the wilderness and how we can apply some life lessons learnt from them. But then I was struck by the infamous Chikungunya virus that’s going around in Delhi this season and all my lofty ideas flew out of the window. That coupled with shifting during a thunderstorm, mothering three littles and trying to be a pastor’s wife completely drained me of any little ability I had to think, research and write. So this post gives you a little peek into my vulnerable heart – my aches and rants, my joys and of course, the recipe for some scrumptious pumpkin cake.
August started off so well. I was training along with my daughter for the September Pinkathon (an all women’s run). We had a few houses short listed for our move and we had everything planned and going as per schedule. But during the early part of August I came down with Chikungunya, a virus which not only causes the usual fever and such, but also causes extreme joint pain as an aftermath. While we trusted God through that phase we realised that we were going to have to trust Him a lot more. I had no idea that the killer joint pain would be constant, crippling and paralysing, not allowing me to be of any use during our big move.
That is when God decided to step in, in a God awesome way…he sent us help from our community! Friends from our church and bible study group came and helped us with packing. My brother and his family came in from Chennai so I would have all the help I needed not just with packing but the kids, setting up the new place and everything.
The day of the move itself was a nightmare – we shifted during a thunderstorm! We had moved all the cardboard cartons to the car park waiting for the truck which was delayed by two hours. During this time the car park flooded leaving our boxes a soggy mess. By the time the guys could move the boxes to a higher ground, our apartment on the third floor flooded, soaking our mattresses and clothes. We had a plague of cockroaches getting into our boxes and bags all of a sudden. Oh boy! It was downhill after that. But then again God sent help and provided for us. He even helped us smile through the chaos.
I realised that God always comes through to help when we call on him. He shows it to us through tangible ways, like friends from our community. God places us in certain communities for a certain reason. He uses us to be his hands and feet. Sometimes we have the ability to help and sometimes he puts us on the receiving end, but it is all cushioned within the community. He did not create us to live alone. The Trinity sets the precedent for us. I have been thinking on all these things while massaging my aching joints. I know for sure that I am extremely grateful this month for the community that I live in. The community which made this time bearable. The community which helped, fed, washed, and laughed with us.
So if you are new to a place, find a community or small group and plug in, because that’s the best part of being in God’s family.
And now for that cake recipe which I promised.
Delhi is just starting to get a little cooler and the nice orange pumpkins are starting to come out on the vegetable carts. I decided that after the strenuous move a little comfort food was in order, so pumpkin cake it was. I baked it for my son’s birthday as well and dressed it up with some cinnamon cream cheese frosting and had everyone in church scrambling for more!
Pumpkin Cake Recipe
Maida or all purpose flour – 1 3/4 cup
Freshly cooked and puréed pumpkin – 1 cup
Eggs – 2
Powdered sugar – 1 cup
Vegetable oil – 1/2 cup
Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
In a pressure cooker, cook 1/2 kg (1 lb) of pumpkin with enough water so that the pumpkin is completely covered in it. You can cut it into large chunks with the skin on it. I let it cook for 3 whistles, which is about 10 minutes on medium flame. Once the pumpkin cools down, scoop it out of the skin and put it in a blender/mixie, do not add any water to this. Blend till it is completely puréed. This should make about one cup.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Whisk together all the wet ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the dry mixture a little at a time to the wet ingredients and mix by hand ( I have found that it affects the softness of the cake if I use an electric mixer).
Once the cake is completely mixed, grease the cake pan and pour in the batter until the pan is 1/2 full.
Bake at 180 C (350 F) for 20 – 30 minutes depending on your oven, or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
This is quite a versatile recipe and can be used for muffins or bread as well.
Enjoy it for breakfast or evening tea or dress it up with some frosting and enjoy it for dessert!
Photo Credit: Unsplash