Tuesday, August 06, 2013

On Ramadan, traditions, and crazy-amazing-cookie-pops

Eid is just around the corner, Ramadan coming to a close. I didn't fast this Ramadan. As a nursing mom, I abstained as I am permitted to by my faith, though I salute the super-mamas who persevere through regardless. Though I ate as I wished, this month was still a challenging month. I always knew K was a helpful and involved father, but I never felt the absolute truth of this until Ramadan, when 16 hour fasts left him not as able to wrestle, wrangle, and otherwise assist with the child-rearing to the full extent he normally does. I understand it. I empathise with it, but taking care of two small children [one who is fast outgrowing his nap] with minimal help was a challenge of sabr of a different sort.

Despite the physical exhaustion, it's been a beautiful month. After years of being a parched spiritual wanderer, this month, I received. This month, I found peace. This month, peace enveloped me. And though I know ones spiritual journey ebbs and flows through life, this month, I am thankful.

I've also been gobsmacked with how fun it's been counting down to Eid with my son. We've always strung up lights, and baked, but this year, Waleed understood why. This year we made paper lanterns, sun catchers, banners, and Eid cards for all who we hold dear, and we also had the fun of exchanging Eid-cards in a pen-pal system that has Waleed running to the mailbox each evening lately. He's anxiously awaiting Eid. He's giddy with delight at the traditions we are creating.

I've mentioned before how important I think traditions are. They ground us with positive childhood memories, they bring families together year after year. They are a centering force in the life of a family. As nice as it is to visit grandparents on Eid, I have longed to have traditions within my own home. While Eid-Salat and going to friend's homes is part of the traditions of the holiday, I also wanted traditions that belonged to our little family and that would be the centering force as years went by and regardless of who invited who on any particular year. We don't live in our ancestral lands where the halls are decked by boughs of kajoor so its doubly important to ensure I do my part to create a festive season. Some traditions they will outgrow [at least I assume my sons will not be clamoring to make paper lanterns at age 17 but I could be proven wrong] and there are some I hope will stand the course of time.

I imagine many of our enduring traditions will be food related traditions.  Food is not just the way to a man's heart. It's the way to everyones hearts. Since leaving my job and home-making/mom-making/word-making full time, I've fallen head over heels in love with cooking. I love making dinners. I love baking. It fills me with no end of joy to see people I care for enjoying what I created for them. [The cleaning up after? Notsomuch].

In a happy set of good fortune, my eldest adores cooking and baking too. He fiddles with his toy kitchen stirring rice and baking cookies, and knows how to work my Kitchenaid Mixer almost as good as I do [which excites me as I daydream of the pastry chef he might be]. So it's no shock that baking cupcakes and frosting cookies is quickly becoming an integral part of our Ramadan traditions. For  Eid-ul-Adha I'm planning to make some pretty cute lamb confections, but this Eid, we made cookie-pops.

Cake pops are cool but they seem to require a great deal of effort, so when I saw this tutorial with a super-simple method to make a fun favor that a kiddo could easily help assemble, I plucked the kids in the car and headed to the nearest grocery store and got to work.

We melted a bag of Andes mint-chocolate chips by microwaving and stirring every thirty seconds, attached lollipop sticks into double-stuffed oreos, and dunked.


And sprinkled. I placed them on parchment paper and the kiddo went to town sprinkling them up. We put them in the fridge to speed up the hardening process. We first tried green sprinkles but they looked a bit lackluster against the brown.


Made extra, thankfully, as some were lost in the err, assembly process. 


And then, wrapped in celephone, tied with a ribbon, and voila, a lovely little favor. We look forward to passing them out at eid prayers come a few short days.


I've since discovered that dipping oreos in chocolate is a fairly standard thing and plan to experiment with different chocolates going forward. I also think serving these sans stick would make a very classy hostess gift. And while I can't speak for how this will taste with other chocolates the recipe as is tastes like thin mints, but a hundred times better [and that is saying something]. We will definitely be experimenting with white chocolate, Godiva, and other fun options going forward, but I'm pretty sure this variation will remain as our standard go-to for Ramadans going forward.

Sharing this incase its helpful or useful as you contemplate your own traditions, Ramadan or otherwise. Hope you had a wonderful Ramadan and insh'Allah a beautiful and meaningful Eid-ul-Fitr.

3 comments:

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Awww, I love this! So glad you guys are making treats together. I can't wait until Little Man is old enough to help!

Farah said...

Eid mubarak to you and your family :)

iamstacey said...

I'm so happy you've found some joy and peace. Oh my goodness, I don't think any of those Oreos would've survived the assembly process if I'd been there to "help"! :)

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