Wednesday 19 June 2019

Ameen Party, Biryani and Crazy Kids

After all the food and partying after Eid ul Fitr, we still weren’t quite done.  A good friend from the masjid invited us to her daughters Ameen (Quran finishing party). I’m always happy at the chance to dress up and eat good food.  My Eid clothes got another outing:

The girls completely outdid me in these pretty outfits their grandmother (my mum in law) brought from Pakistan.  These are Pashtun (northern Pakistan) style and look so pretty on.  I had something similar when I was a teenager and used to love wearing it, I quite like the idea of getting something like this again. Darling wore hers with sparkly shoes and Baby decided all of her shoes hurt and she has to wear these boots.  I thought the overall effect of the outfit and furry boots was like a little Cossack.

The hostess was busy in the kitchen with some giant cooking pots.  I thought my big one was big, but these were really generous:

She served chicken biryani, very tender lamb curry, seekh kebabs and nan:

The kids had great fun, at one point there were about twelve of them on the trampoline prompting fears it would break. It was really nice to catch up with the sisters from the masjid and it’s always good not to have to cook 😊

We should be partied out by now, but I have a work event next week and then a sisters one dish that sounds like it will be amazing, but is during a working day, so I will have to miss out.  After that we have my cousin’s bridal shower to host, and then her wedding to prepare for insh’Allah.

Office Eid Party Craziness

Last week was out staff Eid party.  Part of my job is to encourage staff to understand and celebrate the diversity of our communities and also our staff.  One way of doing this is through staff events.  Last year we held an event telling people about Ramadan and a staff Eid lunch.  For our first few events we struggled to get people to come along, but over the course of the year people started taking an interest, also food is a great way to break down barriers. 

This year I found some sisters who were interested in helping to organise and we made posters for the prayer room.  We posted on the online staff message board and sent people invitations.  Then we all cooked and hoped for the best.

On the day, one of the sisters helped me to decorate the staff lounge – she does party décor in her spare time and was really good.  I also brought in my banners and Eid poster frames.

Alhamdulillah the sisters involved were all amazing cooks and keen to share their food with others.  We had sooo much food: jollof rice (veg and non-veg), chickpea curry, lamb seekh kebabs, samosa chaat, a number of different types and sizes of samosa’s and spring rolls, Bombay aloo, pasta, dhokla, salad, tuna pinwheels and pasties and lots and lots of sweets.  The brothers were good too, their contribution was to go to the shop and buy hot wings and chips.

We did start off laying it our nicely, but it just kept coming:

One sister made three trays of samosa chaat (on the right below). This is samosa’s layered with chickpeas, yoghurt, spices and green chutney.  Most people hadn’t seen anything like this before so were trying it for the first time and loved it.

The Gujerati sister was representing with dhokla, no Gujerati function is complete with dhokla. The sister was so sweet, she had heard about our Eid party last year but was at a different office, this year she had moved to our office and was looking out to see if we would do it again. She brought along five or six beautifully made little dishes along with the dhokla including samosa’s, sweet colourful rice and dates.

The sister who was a whizz at décor was Nigerian, so made Jollof rice, a veg and non-veg version.  Alhamdulillah she filled these cool double hot pot and also a cool box – big heart, big portions alhamdulillah.

There was so much food we separated all the dessert onto a separate table: cake, chocolates, dates, fruit, sweet rice, homemade biscuits and cake bars

One sister made three trays of samosa chaat (on the right below). This is samosa’s layered with chickpeas, yoghurt, spices and green chutney.  Most people hadn’t seen anything like this before so were trying it for the first time and loved it.

It was a really nice event and I think it will become an annual fixture in my office insh’Allah.  I hope next year we get even better at getting more people involved.  A nice outcome was that I got to know lots of Muslim sisters in the office and many are keen to create an informal group for Muslims to support each other in future insh’Allah.

Mini Eid Party for the Mini's

One of Darling’s friends invited her to an Eid party along with other girls from her class.  Her mum was kind enough to invite both of my little girls.  It’s quite something to watch the little girls in action, full of excitements and happiness at being together outside of class.  Darling’s friend circle and her class and friend politics are an ongoing source of entertainment in our home: who is friends with who, who they are not talking to and who is in and out of favour.

This is her bestie, the one she talks about every day and an absolute sweetheart of a little girl.  It was nice that she was invited as she is not Muslim – I believe in being inclusive and not leaving people out, especially children.  And it made Darling’s day.  They had had their first fight the day before and were never going to be friends again.  Someone forgot to remind her that this was the case when they met at the party (we all teased her that the world had turned upside down if she and her bestie were no longer friends, it was too strange to believe).

They had lots of games and seemed to spend most of them jumping up and down and squealing excitedly.  Midway through, they suddenly got distracted by the chickens making a racket in the neighbours garden – that’s not something you hear often in the city.

There was a lot of sparkle at this party:

The hostess put on a really nice little spread for the girls:

The strawberries were the first to go. What is it with little kids and strawberries?

It was a really nice idea to do something for the little kids, we don’t do birthdays, so this would be a nice little replacement and I liked how relaxed and simple it was. I might consider something like this for a future Eid or a summer party.

Sunday 9 June 2019

Super Sisters Eid Event

I love anything Eid related, sisters only events, any excuse to get dressed up and party and also inspiring people.  So I was more than pleased to hear about the SuperSisters Big Eid party which ticked all of those boxes.  Tickets had sold out by the time I heard, but a colleague from work organised some for me and Little Lady to go along.

The event had a host of young and inspiring women: Quran reciters, spoken word poets, inspiring speakers and nasheed singers.  I was impressed by the courage these sisters had to get on stage and perform and share their stories.

This sister had a gorgeous voice and I thoroughly enjoyed her rendition of Hallelujah/Ya Ilahi:

The event had free food, although we spent so much time talking and networking that we missed most of it. There were stalls and there was a very talented henna artist (Asma Ali) who did Little Ladies henna , much to her pleasure:


I love this tray of colourful body paint that was being offered as an alternative to henna:

It was a really nicely organised events, with plenty to keep us interested and entertained and I couldn’t believe it didn’t cost us anything (including the food and henna).  I hope there is a lot more like this insh’Allah. 

Eid-ul-Fitr 2019/1440: Day 2 - Pretty Dresses, Good Food and Family

The second day of Eid for us, was for my mum the first day, so as per family tradition she hosted lunch.  Her Eid lunch is pretty much the meaning and definition of Eid for us – our soul food and our comfort food, our tradition, but also the gorgeous cooking we can’t wait for each year.  It’s the day all of us siblings and our spouses and children all get to be together and just enjoy each other’s company.  

I love my nieces outfit – my mum-in-law bought these pretty Pakhtun style dresses for all of the little girls in the family.

My youngest spent the whole day showing us her twirls:

My other niece wore a red sharer my mum bought from Pakistan (similar to the pink ones my girls wore the day before).  Matching shoes and bag were her own styling 😊

The whole little gang mashallah:

Eid lunch was mum’s lamb pilau rice, chicken curry, kofta curry, lamb kebabs, tandoori chicken, green chutney, salad and raita.

Honestly the best food I get to eat all year.

Then it was time to hand out gifts.  I think the little girls got so many they didn’t know what to do with them or where to put them all. There was also a ton of plastic wrapped in more plastic and a lot of very small toys or toys with lots of small parts.   I think there might be a lesson in this for us to co-ordinate better next year and give them less!

We also got presents, these mugs with our initials were from Shutterbug Sister and I thought they were a great idea:

The kids spent the afternoon playing games and being sore losers.  The adults spent the afternoon having tea and grazing on the various sweets and desserts, with a stream of guests and relatives passing through.  Fun for the rest of us, exhausting for my poor mum who was hosting.

We left after dinner and were all ready for some down time, especially my in-laws who are not used to being up and about all day.  We got home to find an Oreo cake from a neighbour and also that guests were on their way.  I was a bit out of it by this point and wanted to sleep but ended up sitting with the family until about midnight.  I could bee annoyed but they brought a big box of mangoes which we are still enjoying, so alhamdulillah.

I hope your Eid was a blessed and happy one insh’Allah.