So today is the last Friday of Ramadan.
Personally, I find Fridays really interesting.
On my visits to Muslim countries, I’ve noticed that Fridays are a really big deal. Schools will let out early, stores will shut down, everyone rushes to perform the rites of a Friday. In some countries, Friday isn’t even a working day.
While vacationing in Pakistan, one of my fondest memory of Friday was that after Friday prayers, we would have lunch together as a family. Each week, it was the same food: “zarda” and “biryani“. You might think we might tire of having the same food every week but we never did. Typically reserved for weddings and other great festivities, these foods are considered to be the top culinary specialties of Pakistan. They’re the foods that everyone looks forward to chowing down. The fact that they’re being served on Friday says something. It’s like in honour of Friday, the nation’s best foods are prepared. It’s a holiday after all! Everyone celebrate!
I’m all for giving Friday it’s due respect but living in Toronto, for me, Fridays are working days. Preparing lavish meals just isn’t an option. Specialties like biryani take approximately 2 hours to make! #aintnobodygottimeforthat.
There are tons of other – simpler – ways to make Friday stand out though. Since it’s summer time, I’m serving up fun ice cream bowls for Ramadan!
You wanna know what’s really popular these days? Confetti! I’m seeing round sprinkles everywhere. (My fav is this sprinkles cake by the Caketress.)
So what’s my twist on this ever-popular sprinkles trend?
They’re simple to make, cute to look at, and fun to eat. They’re perfect for summer nights. Dollop some ice cream, put a cherry on top and since it’s Friday, throw on a sparkler too! Instantly, it’s a celebration.
To make these adorable confetti cups, you will need white chocolate chips, round sprinkles and waffle bowls. I found mine at Loblaws – they’re President’s Choice brand. By the way, I absolutely love Loblaw’s for the big “Ramadan Kareem” banners they put up every year in their “international foods” aisle. They do that for seriously every major holiday of different religio/ethnic groups! It’s so amazing. Multiculturalism at it’s best!
Anyway, once you’ve got all your supplies, all you wanna do is melt your chocolate, dip your waffle bowls in the chocolate and then dip into your sprinkles. Voila – you’re done! You may need to thin your chocolate out for even coating of sprinkles. To do this, add oil to your chocolate. Do not add water. It will clump. Use oil!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when it comes to creating a festive atmosphere for holidays, simple pleasures go a long way. Fridays are special to Islam and one way to acknowledge their significance is with food. In our cultural context, with our super busy lives, dressing up our food (since we’ve been blessed enough to have such abundance) will strive to remind us that Fridays are in fact holidays too and not just any old working day.
Is there a food that you particularly associate with Fridays in your culture?
Photos: Manal Aman