So you all know that the festivals of Eid last three days each right? The first day is the day on which the congregational Eid salaah is performed, and onwards are the ongoing festivities to allow us to hang out, and share sweetmeats and food!
So on Day 2, a Saturday this year, we hosted a get-together at home. And what did the skies bring that morning? Gallons (alright, litres and litres and litres) of rainwater – the kind of dim day that does not encourage me to be sunny-natured in the least. So we set about the preparations with some hesitance – how much people would really turn up in that rain, and how many should we prepare for?
Paint cans put away, usual outdoor entertainment area (alright, our garage) was cleaned and prepped, we proceeded on the inside to brown the whitefish (no dolphin – no not Flipper, I mean mahi mahi, in this fish-light year), make the coleslaw, the potato salad, the sweet & sour sauce for the fish, the black & red bean soup with coconut milk, the cassava balls. Number 1 Son declared he was not working that day but inflated the balloons with his lungpower (alas I am still awaiting my Eid Mubarak balloons from that online store which never let me down before), Beloved Daughter declared she was all baked out from Ramadan (she averaged four pineapple upside down cakes & brownies each weekend, two p-u-d cakes and a sponge for Eid), so there was mutiny in the house. Nevertheless, we finally managed to get things together, I was able to do menu cards, and an Eid Mubarak banner (images posted when I figure out how to do that) made from the discarded cardboard from the new curtain panels packaging, some markers, and the labour of our seven year old and three-year old Matthew.
We got balloons, ribbon, stars, and bunting suspended, tablecloths laid, citronella candles set out and lit, tent put up, pastel coloured torches put out (these never stayed lit because of the wind and some drizzle – yay, the rain went away and we had a really cool evening – and someone suggested most helpfully (insert sarcasm here) a week later that I should look for battery-powered tea-lights).
The menu was the soup ( an absolute hit and suggestive of meat without any meat or meat product), chicken biryani, cassava balls, potato salad, surprise salad (rocket lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, feta cheese), coleslaw (which I forgot in the fridge until dinner was almost over), jerk tikka turkey (a fancy name for a turkey basted with jerk bbq sauce & tikka paste which our great-aunt thought looked awful and was to my horror, happily engaged in peeling off the coloured roasted skin when I caught her).
Dessert was apple crisp, apple crumble, light fruit cake, cold watermelon, ice cream, lemon meringue pie, some absolutely decadent cheesecake brownies, and oodles of sweetmeats.
We had near 50 people, but had to laugh – the reason we had biryani was because of two particular friends we’d invited, and …yup, they didn’t turn up! The teenagers were a little hardpressed in the absence of a working monitor/tv on which to play video games (alright who am I kidding, quite a few had their PS-somethings or the other), but it was quite nice seeing them sitting and chatting, and playing a non-electronic games.
The last folks left after 12, I found the energy after isha to clean up the kitchen, and telephoned my brother (who lives in the same timezone, but who had called us for Eid while we were trying to get out the door to head to Eid salaah, and was therefore booted most unceremoniously off the phone) at what turned out to be 2am. On a side note, both of my brothers performed itikaaf for the first time this year (and apparently without collaboration).
Thus endeth Day 2.