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Archive for October, 2005

Ramadan, Day Fifteen

Alhamdulillah. The fast goes well with me. God willing, it does with you.

I've actually reached a point I have never reached before during fasting. I have lost weight (which I sadly expect to regain after Ramadan). My stomach is really shrinking. I haven't been hungry much for iftar or dinner this week (the two are separate when hubster is home…) and I can't seem to eat much or at all during suhur. I can barely get down my 16 ounces of water in the morning.

Tonight, I am sharing iftar with a friend. On the menu: Salsa Bean soup and SUSHI. I am going to pick it up on our way home.

Otherwise, today is my last day at work. I am supposed to start my new job next week. This may or may not happen as drama has taken hold. I will update when I have the full scoop and an end game.

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Ramadan, Day 11

Darnit, its turning into a food Ramadan and its my own fault. grr. Fasting goes well. Due to the timing of certain things, this will be the longest running stretch of fasting ever, probably 25 days in a row.

I have real problems with self getting in the way. Not praying on time and other things because my lazy self wants to sleep or wants to do something later. If I keep saying later on things, I going to dead. I have talked about fasting with non-muslims and I usually hear the same story — too hard, dehydration, need my caffeine, so on and so forth. We truly are ruled by our stomachs. It hit me during one of these times that fasting would be hard if there was no reason to do it. For me, and probably other muslims as well, there is a belief that you are committing a wrong by not fasting during Ramadan. Even more so than that, that there is a definitive punishment for breaking ones fast frivolously – 30 consecutive days of fasting. Allah wants my fasting so He gets it. The end. I make do.

The other morning, I slept through suhur (breakfast), which means my husband also slept through suhur. I was angry and whining about not making it through the day. My husband stopped me in my tracks by sleepily pointing out that there are muslims in Pakistan fasting today as well who don't have anything to look forward to at iftar right now due to the earthquake. He's right. I will have a dinner to look forward to, insha'allah, and another breakfast and others who do not fast continuously over days because they have nothing at all to eat.

On a brighter note, I've lost about 12 pounds. I think they are located at the soda fountain at work I no longer frequent… *grin* Its nice to have things fit again. In this regard, this Ramadan has been a success because I am not being a total glutton at night and eating to make up for the whole day.

On a soda note, Fresca is making two new flavors: Peach Citrus and Black Cherry Citrus. The peach is muy fabuloso. I will try the black cherry tonight. No caffeine, no sugar. Yes, aspartame, but its not nasty like aspartame normally is. I think citrus flavors cover up that weird flavor (which would account for the fact that I like sweet n low in my lemonade, but nowhere else).

I have been a cooking diva these last two weeks. I think its mainly because I fixed the basmati problem. Tonight's dinner, which is going to the masjid potluck, is my version of kebseh. One pot of basmati rice, onion and small veggies sauteed well, fresh tomatoes (I used grape this time because they were the only ones that looked ripe) and garlic. Add in spices and mix with rice and voila. Until recently, I did not know I owned a container of ras-al-hanout, a moroccan spice. Joie de vive! Its a mix of a whole bunch of stuff not limited to paprika, allspice, cinnamon, cardamom and et cetera. Its very much like kebseh spice.

And since I am still spouting and Hamza is watching Clifford, the basmati fix is this: 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup ricethree washes, no soaking5 minutes medium high boil, covered6-8 minutes on low, coveredFluff. I do not add oil, but I use a generous portion of adobo (thanks UZ!!)
Now that I have made your mouth water, I will take my leave. Adieu, mon amis!

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Ramadan, Day 7

Hanging tough, folks. (Yes, I did just say that. Deal.) I made it to four iftars this weekend at local masjids. And yes, I did cook for one of them. *grin*

I don’t think this is going to be a tarawih year for me. I should be able to attend once or twice in the coming weeks at ISNA, but the local masjids are too cramped and full for my comfort and for that of a roving two-but-thinks-he’s-five-year-old. I can’t concentrate at all when I keep wondering if he will fall down stairs, run outside, get hurt, hit by a car, etc.

I made a fantabulous vegetable soup for iftar with fried tilapia. Veggie soup rocks. I experimented with a leek. The leek didn’t make me cry, which is a step up from an onion… but I don’t think it was worth it for the price. Hubster likes soups bisque style, so he blended his all up, but I think that ruins it.

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This is going to be a long weekend with Celebrate the North American Indigenous Murderer Day tomorrow. Got up on time for suhur, way early. Ate PBJ for breakfast. PBJ is an awesom suhur if you can deal with a sandwich for breakfast. It has fats, proteins, sugars and complex carbs (if you eat decent bread) all in one meal. With a glass of whole milk, heaven.

Hamza's diet has been poor as of late for two reasons. 1) He's got the nose and cough ick which is messing with his throat and appetite. 2) Its hard to remember to feed someone else when you're not eating unless they yell at you… He doesn't eat well at masjid iftars, sad to say, even though there's rice and chicken. Heck, I'm making rice and chicken to take with me to the masjid iftar.

I've picked up a bit of the ick myself. I tried not to share anything with Hamza the last few days, but its found me nonetheless. I've been really sneezy.

I caught up half way last night with my Quran reading. I hope I can catch up in the next couple of days. Fell of the wagon for a day or two. Ten pages isn't a lot of Harry Potter, but it sure is when reading the Quran. Now, don't hate on me for saying that because it isn't, in any way, a dis on the Holy Book. Its more a commentary on the style of writing and my own preferences for reading. Having said that, I am working on it.

Back to my favorite food vein, does anyone have any good tips for non-sticky basmati? It never cooks the same way twice for me. I can't ever seem to get it to dry out with out totally gumming up. I am trying to dry out some as I type.

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Weekends during Ramadan, in the past, have been more difficult that workdays during Ramadan. I used to think, “How do people do this all the time being at home and fasting?” Since the fast is getting easier by the day this year, the weekend has not been too difficult to bear either. Hubster and I kept ourselves busy yesterday cleaning out a closet (which still needs more love and attention) and playing with boy. I had decent energy, no sugar shakes. My favorite napper and I sacked together for a few hours while hubster watched soccer somewhere. Also, we went to a masjid iftar that was not crowded with fabulous food, good sisters and great adab.

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Big News!

So, going back to Monday of this week, we see that UmmHamza was given The Pink Slip of Doom. I definitely decided that this was a good thing, time to move on, closing door, somewhere opening window. Allahu alim (I really did say that. Its not just blog drama.)

The window opened. The very next day. I kid you not.

I got a new job. In a new field (scary). Working with muslims. With better pay. Subhanallah.

Thank you to any and all of you who supplemented my crippled mojo because it worked! I wrote off the interview and everything and was making plans to move to Morocco and be unemployed for a while. Just shows that I am not in the driver’s seat, but Someone Else is.

Wish me luck.

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Ramadan, Day Three

MUCH BETTER. Thank you very much.

I am feeling very good about my fasting, so far this year. The first year I fasted was the very hardest. All the rest seem to get easier. However, the hardest part will be that the “break” will not be until right before Eid. Sort of spoils Eid, eh? 🙂

Tonight is Iftar at the Masjid night. So is tomorrow. 🙂 Whee! No cooking!!!

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