This year’s Ramadhan started off with a sahur together with The Teenager who thoughtfully brought home “kampung fried rice” when she came back from her outings.
This year’s Ramadhan is different too as we will fast as a new family albeit the distance that we have at the moment.
Just like any other year, the Muslim community in Malaysia welcomes the Ramadhan Al Mubarak in a big bang sort of way. A number of my relatives and friends actually took leave on Friday to prepare for its arrival by preparing local delicacies. In the evening, the menfolks would go to the mosque to perform the special Terawih prayers.
And the festive mood is in the air.
The Ramadhan bazaars would be the focus point for each and every year. I know George would love this. Certain areas of the city is designated for stall owners to sell varieties of food ranging from normal every day “lauk” to certain delicacies that you can only get during Ramadhan month. Most Ramadhan bazaars would start around 4.00 pm and end just right after the breaking fast which is about 7.30pm.
Many years back when I was still living in Kuantan, Pahang, I took the opportunity to open up a “lauk” stall in the Ramadhan bazaar in the town area. This was the time when life was a bit tough and I was doing everything that I could to supplement the family’s income. Every day at about 4.00 am I would be in the wet market picking up the freshest vegetables and meat, and by 6.00 am I would be busy back in the kitchen preparing for the morning’s cooking activities.
Mind you, I was alone, preparing at least about 15 to 20 variety of dishes ranging from curry to “gulai” to fried stuff and to cap off all these, a range of kuih-muih as dessert. Condiments had to be prepared ahead of time such as grinding the dried chillies or peeling the onions and garlic so that time is not wasted.
By 3.00 pm, a van would come and pick me up together with the rest of the dishes which by now have been packed into multiple big containers. Sometimes while waiting for the van, I would doze off for a few minutes trying to catch up on my sleep.
Income was very good. Everything was on cash basis. I lost weight so much that I had to buy belt to tighten up my jeans. Would I want to do it all over again? Maybe, if done a bit differently – with assistants, proper vehicle to transport the food out and a complete kitchen. But then again, I said, just maybe…
Cooking for the new family during this Ramadhan is one of my ultimate wishes this year but unfortunately things are not meant to be just as yet. God willing next year would be a different scenario all together.
My husband called to wish me the Ramadhan Al Mubarak and I wished him the same. He is thoughtful as always. I have started my fast when he called. He will perform his fast the next day as he is still on his Friday at where he is at the moment.