The usual housework for women turns into a kind of “hard work” in the blessed month of Ramadan, in which women are solely responsible for preparing a varied “Ramadan meal” that will satisfy fasting family members. .
The search for new and varied types of food and drink every day takes up a large part of the thinking of Palestinian women, perhaps, with the exception of the first day of Ramadan, when in Gaza it was customary, for example, to decorate a meal with a staple food. molokhia dish, with optimism in its green color and with the hope of a good year and prosperity.
If family members do not intervene to look for a certain type of food, the woman finds herself alone in the “arena” looking for what to offer on the Ramadan journey or who helps her to answer the most frequently asked question in the languages of housewives in this. holy month: “What are we going to cook tomorrow?” .
Like other women, Amna al-Hayek faces great challenges in Ramadan, which takes her a lot of time in terms of thinking about food items and preparing them. She said the kitchen takes up a lot of women’s time space during Ramadan. and when a woman asks her family: “What are we going to cook tomorrow?”, she does not ask for real help in the kitchen, but seeks to free her from stressful daily thoughts.
Amna is a housewife who supports a family of five and is currently studying for a professional degree in culinary arts at Gaza University. “Even though I love the kitchen, working on it during Ramadan is stressful and different from the rest of the year.” she said.
While Amna is busy preparing food, her thoughts lead her to what to prepare for the next day. To overcome this, she prepares a table with various items that she distributes over several days. She says: “If someone in the family does not ask for a certain type of food, this table relieves me of the burden of daily work. in search of a new one ”.
And the fact that Palestinian cuisine is rich with a large number of foods and drinks passed down from generation to generation, helps Amna prepare a varied Ramadan meal that meets the wishes of her family members during the month of fasting, when appetite increases and the demand for food and various kinds of sweets multiplies.
A few days before the current month of Ramadan, Amna returned to Gaza after participating in a cooking competition in Egypt, as part of the team of “Smile Kitchen Academy” in Gaza, which won 11 medals. She jokes: “I have loved cooking since childhood and I find myself and my happiness in the kitchen preparing different kinds of food and sweets, but the burden in Ramadan is great and I do not worry if men contribute to us with jelly (pot) washing). “
Rania Skaik agrees with Amna that the burden of women in the month of Ramadan is double compared to other months and that the kitchen takes them away from practicing the other rituals that characterize this month. Women spend a lot of time and effort that can use to intensify their worship, such as prayer and recitation of the Qur’an.
Rania is married and has two daughters, she says the responsibility of preparing Ramadan meal is a difficult task, and a woman in Ramadan needs the help of her family and not to leave her alone as a “slave”. in the kitchen.
In addition to her agreement with Amna on what distinguishes Palestinian cuisine from “heritage and healthy foods,” Rania uses YouTube and web sites specializing in culinary arts to learn about other cultures in cooking. and to try varieties from Arabic and international cuisines. which her family prefers during the month of Ramadan.This month the fasting person has a high appetite and wants to try everything new.
Rania’s journey through the kitchen begins every day at three o’clock in the afternoon, as she has chosen the types of her journey in agreement with the rest of the family and the juices.
Ramadan is not
Ramadan for many women is a space to showcase their culinary skills and arts and bring joy and happiness to their family members, especially children who are experiencing fasting for the first time.
Amna and Rania agreed on their love for a Ramadan trip with different types of food, drinks and sweets, just as they agreed at the same time on the need to estimate the quantities the family needs and not to waste and exaggerate , and in In their opinion, Ramadan this year comes in complicated circumstances due to the huge rise in prices, which is imposed on families “economic models of thinking for the preparation of the Ramadan meal.”
This extravagance extends – with the agreement of Amna and Rania – to the precious time of the blessed month of Ramadan, which women should not miss while they are “caged in the kitchen walls”, and to take advantage of this month’s virtues in worship and charitable deeds, good planning must reach equilibrium.
Tips to save time and effort
Amna and Rania talk about their Ramadan diaries included tips that can be used by housewives to save a lot of time and effort in the rest of the blessed month of Ramadan, especially in its last ten days, and even in it. all days of the century. year are distinguished as follows:
Prepare a weekly schedule of meal types, and fully meet their requirements, to avoid wasting time and effort heading to the market every day and often.
When preparing your family’s favorite soups, work on cooking large quantities of them and keeping them in packets or containers inside the fridge and reheat the desired ones every day.
Prepare quantities of appetizers, such as pastries, kibe and samosas, which are mostly consumed during Ramadan, and keep them in the refrigerator to be ready for daily frying and serving at the table.
Prepare and chop the fruits for the smoothie and keep plenty of them for a few days in the fridge.
Divide the dishes for each person at the table and pour the amounts that suit each of them, to avoid food waste.
Keep the leftover food on the table in the refrigerator, so that after a few days it is served along with any other item.
Be sure to clean the dishes and cooking utensils first, so that they do not accumulate and drain for a long time by the woman who needs to rest after breakfast.
It is preferable that at an early stage of life children be given daily homework to develop their sense of responsibility, especially those tasks that they can do according to their abilities and age.
During Ramadan, dishes for food and drink are widely used, and the responsibility of washing what is used in the first place should be borne by every family member.