The Wellington Cantonment in the Nilgiris is about a 15 mt walk from our home in Coonoor. The sight of a small bridge separating a lush golf course is the sight that greets you. My parents being members of the Wellington Gymkhana Club,many of my mornings as a child ,were spent playing table tennis,walking on the fairways,to the little nalla (stream) behind the hillock or meeting with friends for lunch. Home to the MRC or the Madras Regimental Centre (if memory serves me right),the sight of military folk in uniform are a part of the scenery. The MRC square ,as I call it, remains unchanged since my childhood with it’s displays of old military war planes and canons.
Another very vivid memory is one,of firmly clutching my mother’s hand on her visits to the MRC bakery. Back then ,it was housed inside the main building. The heart shaped shortbread ,jam centered cookies , salt biscuits and sponge cake were a constant on her list of things to buy there. She had several hungry kids to feed in the summer holidays, me ,my siblings,cousins and myriad friends !!!
While the MRC bakery still makes their yummy shortbread,they stopped doing the heart shaped ones a few years ago along with the jam centres…such a pity ! What I did discover by accident,this year though ,was that they serve hot puffs between 9 and 10.30 a.m every morning. Mr. Yadav at the counter ,informed us that they were very popular and hence sold out quickly ! Thankfully,since we did have hungry mouths to feed,we made a plan to try out the puffs before we headed back home…otherwise it would feel like unadulterated GREED !!!! 😀
A few days later,we picked up these puffs,hot and fresh from the oven. The aroma wafting in the car threatened to set off a series of rumbles from everyone’s tummies !!! On arriving home and opening the package,I noticed immediately that they were all of different shapes so that the different flavours are easily identifiable ! What a super idea ! The square ones have a mixed vegetable filling,the rectangle puffs are filled with a chicken mince and the triangles have an egg filling. Eaten hot,they all tasted delicious. The pastry was light and flaky,not overly greasy at all and the fillings were yummy in their own individual way. My family insist that their order of preference are chicken ,egg and veg but I recommend that you try all three for yourself. They make for great picnic fare ! you may call ahead ,if you’d like to place an order,Mr. Yadav is most courteous ! 89405-19215
Every time I visit,I buy a few kgs of the shortbread for folks back home and also I make sure I protest about the non availability of the jam and heart biscuits and this year was no exception…(hoping they might have a change of heart 😉 ) but it was nice to discover the savoury puffs,you never know when,in the hills, we might have guests for tea !