Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ramadan Kareem - Part 2

I haven’t been posting lately due to Ramadan. Ramadan is a very busy time of the year for us. With the exception of A, we are all fasting. H has been fasting the entire month for the past few years. N fasts on and off, though I often have to force her to take a break every few days when she begins to look a bit peaked.

Ramadan is primarily a time to reflect inwards and strive to better ourselves, and also to strengthen our bond with Allah (God in Arabic). So we spend much time in prayer.

We do like to have different foods with which to break our fast. So on any day you will find a multitude of wonderful things on my dining table at Iftaar (which literally means breakfast in Arabic).

There may be fried chicken and mashed potatoes (for H), beryani (for K), pasta with marinara sauce or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (for N). There will always be a light soup such as chicken noodle or vegetable, a variety of fruits, croissants, pour moi bien sur, along with the ubiquitous black beans and samosa’s. There will also be many cold and refreshing drinks (well it is 110 degrees outside you know).

So as you can see, it’s an international smorgasbord – quite fitting for us. We often share our blessings with friends, family, neighbors and people who congregate at the local Masjid at the time of Iftaar. This keeps me quite busy, to say the least.

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The following is a recipe for watermelon juice. I often make this for Iftaar since it is very refreshing. Plus, I often have a lot of watermelon left over. Watermelons here come in one size – extremely large – so we usually can’t eat all of it.

Watermelon Juice

8 cups coarsely chopped watermelon pieces (seeds are fine)
1 tablespoon sugar
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in blender (you may have to gradually add the watermelon since it won’t all fit at one time) and blend until nearly smooth - the seeds being the exception. Strain the juice through a fine sieve. Serve with plenty of crushed ice. You can change the amount of sugar and lime to your taste.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We're Baack

Ramadan Kareem!

After an exhausting 22 hour journey we are now home. All 18 of us arrived safely – 8 suitcases, 4 items of hand luggage, a Wii Fit, a Wave board, 3 kids and myself. As you can tell, we did our best to help stimulate the lagging US economy.

My eldest 2 are going through withdrawal symptoms and bouts of homesickness. But school started 2 days after our arrival so there was not much time to mope. They are beginning to adjust to their usual schedules and are glad to see their friends. My youngest, the Qatari at heart, is blissfully happy to be home.

Jetlag persists and no one is having trouble getting up for Suhur. I will try to post periodically during the next few weeks, staying close to Ramadan related topics.