Five Ways to Make a More Efficient Ramadan Kitchen
|bartb_pt/Flickr Creative Commons|
|Ramadan's date is set by the moon's first visible crescent in the Islamic calendar.|
Ramadan--the holy month where Muslims forgo food and drink, including water, from sunup to sundown--is here. One of the five pillars in Islam, this month is one of spiritual discipline and renewal, as Muslims are instructed to spend extra time in worship and try to cut back on bad habits. The fast this year is more rigorous than previous years, because it falls in midsummer; add to that traffic, work, meetings, picking up kids from their summer camp, and it becomes difficult to find ample time to prepare iftar--the post-fast meal. Below are a few ways to make a Ramadan-efficient kitchen.
5. Decide what meals you want to cook ahead of time.
|Vít Hassan/Flickr Creative Commons|
|A traditional Sudanese meal in Ramadan.|
Note them down on a calendar, and stick to preparing those meals. Keep the essentials in cupboards and on shelves that are within your reach to prevent scrambling for specific ingredients. If you're really in for the long haul, prepare certain dishes ahead of time and freeze them. This will save time in the kitchen and maximize time spent in worship, charity efforts, prayer, and so on.
4. Buy in bulk
|pocketcultures/Flickr Creative Commons|
|Pide - a Turkish pita bread - is baked in large batches during Ramadan.|
Buy in bulk, but don't overdo it, and seek out fruits and vegetables as needed. We're in the beginning of Ramadan, but it's still not too late to prepare in advance for the rest of the month. Stock up on your most commonly used ingredients--meat, rice, pasta, (pita) bread, oil, spices. List the types of meats and starches, and the amounts of each kind, you will need to make per meal. Buy them, then freeze and label everything. It's tedious. And it saves you the headache, and unwise decision, of picking up groceries on an empty stomach.