A series of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons vignettes for Christmas 2003
by Tiger Jackson
Rare Avis: 12 December
Harmony had not considered taking leave at Christmas so she wasn’t affected by the cancellation-of-leaves order. Besides, New Year’s Day was far more important, though she would not be able to return to Japan for it. But there would be Christmas and New Year’s celebrations on Cloudbase, and, as usual, she would inject some Japanese elements.
Cloudbase’s head chef had already agreed to bake Japanese Christmas cakes. It wouldn’t be easy to get fresh strawberries, but he’d promised to make a special effort. And for New Years’s, he would prepare Omochi, steamed rice pounded and formed into cakes. She planned to leave one as an offering on the personal altar to her family’s household gods that she kept in her quarters. Her mother had already sent a package with other offerings, including dried persimmons, dried chestnuts, pine seeds, black peas, and flowers made of straw and rice.
Lieutenant Green had promised to organize a live choral performance of the Daiku, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for New Year’s Eve. A surprising number of Spectrum personnel were talented singers, Harmony mused. Although Captain Blue was certainly not among them! He sang like a crane.
Harmony’s thoughts returned to the last item she had found in the package her mother had sent. It was a work of origami, an intricately folded paper crane, the symbol of long life and peace. Her mother had painted the symbols of her names, Kwan and Harmony, on each side of its body, and colourful little Spectrum insignia on its wings. A paper crane was a magical creature. It was said that if you folded a thousand of them, a dear wish would be granted.
It made her think of Sadako Sasaki, a girl who lived in Hiroshima in 1945. As a schoolgirl, Kwan had learned about how Sasaki had tried to fold a thousand cranes because she sincerely believed that if she could, world peace would follow. Sasaki had made more than six hundred before she died of radiation poisoning. If she had completed the thousand cranes, Kwan had wondered, would there be peace today? Harmony Angel did not try to answer the question; many others had also asked it, and the answer was for philosophers to debate.
But even this one crane was a powerful symbol and it touched her deeply. All over the world, people still folded cranes and wished for peace. This was one of many wishes, many hopes for peace. One crane could not do the work of one thousand. But it was a start. It would need to be kept in a very special place.
At shift change, Destiny Angel took Harmony’s place in Angel One. To her surprise, she found atop the instruments panel a little paper bird with its wings extended, bravely facing the sky, prepared to carry out its mission for peace.
Harmony Angel’s Japanese Christmas Cake
http://japanesefood.about.com for other Japanese recipes.
Ingredients (North American measures):
For sponge cake:
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp cup butter
For whipping cream:
2 cups heavy cream
4 tbsps sugar
16 pieces whole strawberry
How to Prepare:
Spread some batter inside of a round cake pan and place baking wax paper. (*8 inches round pan.)
Put eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk very well.
Place the bowl over hot water in another large bowl and whist further.
When the egg mixture becomes white, shift flour and baking powder together and add to the bowl.
Add melted butter in the bowl and mix gently.
Preheat the oven in a 350-degree.
Pour the batter in the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 min.
Remove the cake from the pan and cool it on a rack.
Cut the cake in half horizontally.
Mix heavy cream and sugar in a bowl.
Whip the cream well.
Slice 8 pieces of strawberries into thin pieces.
Take the half of the whipped cream and mix the sliced strawberries.
Place the cream on top of a round cake slice.
Place another cake slice on top of the cream.
Spread the rest of the whipped cream on top and around the cake.
Decorate the cake with 8 pieces of strawberries.
Makes 4 servings.
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