How to make a Sri Lankan Cake

I was asked by Maeve Marsden to be part of her theatre series Queerstoris in July 2019. I had earlier in the year been part of a project Maeve worked on with Google in Australia called My Mother’s Kitchen, an app played kinda like a pinball game where your rolled a ball around the floorplan of various people’s childhood kitchen.As you ‘dropped’ the ball into a spot in different areas of the kitchen you heard snippets of people’s memories of those kitchens. Mine was about the kitchen of my childhood years in Sri Lanka.

When I came to write the piece for Maeve, I decided to speak about making Christmas cake with my grandmother, Ada de la Harpe, and our cook, Rosalind, The ingredients of the cake reflect the history of Sri Lanka’s engagement with other nations, and as the story evolved it became as much about telling that history as it was about making the cake.

How to make a Sri Lankan Christmas cake