Hello and Salaam (peace) everyone! July was an extremely busy month, marked with Ramadan, meeting and eating with family, Eid, graduating(!!) and work-related outings for me! It was overall a hectic but very good and happy month for me, alhamdulilah.
So without further ado, here’s a round-up in pictures of my month!
The last half of Ramadan fell into the first half of July this year. This last half of Ramadan was marked by many many invites to relative’s houses for Iftar, alhamdulillah (all praise to God). It’s always a lot of fun, meeting everyone, talking and just generally having a great time – but it’s also very tiring!
In other amazing news, July the 17th 2015 marked the day I graduated as a BSc Hons Psychology student! It was an amazing day, alhamdulillah and I thought there was no way on Earth I’d get emotional, but subhanAllah (glory to God) I was moved to tears by just one proud grin I saw my Father wearing!
I was very small, perhaps too small for my Father to know I was understanding what he was saying, when my Father said to me ‘It’s a dream of mine to see one of my children graduate.’ You see, neither my Father’s side nor my Mother’s side are academia oriented – most went straight into work from a very young age. I was never academia oriented either, but I struggled to get to this day because deep down I knew this was what my parents wanted for me and I knew it was best for me. I kept up my studying even after marriage, even though I had every reason to drop out and go into work. Paying the rent would have been 10 times easier if we had two incomes available. But it’s all paid off alhamdulillah – my degree, predicted grades and good references from my professors landed me my dream job and I couldn’t be grateful enough!
Eid was the following day after my graduation – a belated Eid Mubarak to all those reading my blog who don’ follow me on my Instagram! If you aren’t already, you really should follow me on Instagram for daily updates! I also have a Facebook page but I am woeful at updating it – hoping to change that soon though!
Anyway, back to Eid!
Eid, as usual, was a lovely day with the family. Since this was my first Eid-ul-Fitr as a married woman, I didn’t cook anything and was just expected to apply henna, dress up and wear lots of makeup and jewelry- lol! I broke into this elegant gold set a friend of my Father brought me from Karachi as a wedding gift, as well as a very shiny and heavy pink Pakistani shalwar kameez.
In the evening, we roasted a whole goat over our homemade makeshift barbeque, which we ate with plenty of tandoor naan, rice scattered with carrots and raisins, kebabs and a variety of chutneys!
My Mother fished out some old albums! I love looking at old photos. Here are a few snaps taken of my childhood.
Some background info on me. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan in December 1993 but me and my parents came to Leeds, England 40 days after. We stayed in Leeds/Bradford for about a year before we came to London and have been here ever since. Despite this, I remember none of my childhood in London – I remember only Pakistan. We went on holidays often and for long periods of time and it was in Pakistan where I made memories I still hold dear.
I’ve left my heart in Pakistan and want to go back someday to settle down, once the going gets better. My Father is from Karachi and Mother from Faisalabad, Punjab and when I was a child, we visited Karachi a lo. But now, we don’t have anymore relatives in Karachi – most have left and now we only go to Faisalabad and Lahore. It brings me to tears sometimes when I see the state of my beautiful Karachi – the corrupt politics, the random shootings, the daily bombs and suicides – it’s so dangerous that we haven’t been since 2006 and I sadly don’t see myself going anytime soon. I pray the city of Karachi and the entire country comes out of this black hole it’s been going through for the last few years and that peace is granted to all parts of the country – Ameen.
I had a mini get-together with some old friends from secondary school and made sweet and sour ‘chilli’ paneer, mixed veggie rice, mushroom and chicken pie and I also tried my hand at This Muslim Girl Bakes’ brown butter cherry bars – and my my, they were delicious! Not to mention gorgeous as well! Can’t wait to bake this again – next time I’m going to go heavy on the nuts with perhaps some almonds and hazelnuts alongside the pecans.
Towards the end of the month, I asked my husband to bring home ‘atta’, wholemeal flour which I use on a daily basis to cook chapatti. My husband brought home the atta, yes, but also a beautiful bouquet! My instant reaction was to ask ‘What happened? Why the flowers? Koi khushkhabri hai? (is there some good news?)’ but it turns out, he just brought them for no reason, just for me. My heart melted and it absolutely brightened my day!
It made me think how such gestures can really bring happiness into others lives… bringing home flowers is such a low effort and affordable thing to do but it can really brighten up someone’s mood for days, as it did mine! In the mundanities of life as we plough through work, education and household chores, often we overlook such sweet nothings and don’t give thought to these beloved little gestures of love. Don’t let this happen to you – it happened to me too and now whenever I take a glance at the gorgeous flowers sitting on my dining table, I’m reminded of how love is the only bright thing in an otherwise dull world and we need to hold onto it tight.
Here are some links from around the interwebs I liked!
Cherry Slab Pie Bars by This Muslim Girl Bakes – yay for more baked cherry goods!
Sheer Khurma by Ainy Cooks – Sheer Khurma is traditionally cooked on Eid in my family but this year since I was a new bride, I wasn’t allowed to cook! I’ll definitely be cooking up a batch soon though. Till then, here is the lovely Ainy’s version
Gulab Jamun by A Foodys Kitchen on YouTube – Going to try these soon and hope they will be better than my last batch! See my May 2015 Round-up for more details!
Coconut Barfi by Flour and Spice – This was part of an ‘Eid Eats’ virtual party, where various bloggers contributed food to an online Eid potluck via their blogs. I wanted to participate but happened to be extremely busy during those days and unfortunately couldn’t. Had I been able to contribute, I would have made a vanilla barfi – but I’m loving this coconut spin! *drooling*
And finally, here’s a round-up of all the recipes posted this month!
I hope you all have a fantastic August full of relaxation, sunny days and memorable moments spent with loved ones. To keep updated with the recipes I’m posting, you can subscribe to my blog – the subscription box is at the top right hand corner of this page for desktop users and below here for mobile users.
With love, Fatima xxx