Friday, 3 September 2010

Not too Shabby (Recycled title, because I love that damn phrase)

Hello! (Warning- this is a horrendously long post because I'm in a rambly mood)
Before I go into the actual point of this post (food...obviously), I should make a record of todays events: Our mosque doesn't usually cater for women, but on the last Friday of Ramadhan they clear out a floor so the women can read Jummah. So myself, the mother, the cousin and the grandma went along. For one, it was WEIRDLY nostalgic- I used to go there every day after school until I was seven, and I remember everything looking huge. Such as the great big chasm of a staircase leading down to the mosque entrance. Now I realise it's just five small steps and a little, worn-out doorway. The Great Hall where we used to sit is just a small-ish room, and the intensely mysterious 'corridor' which I used to sneak off to explore under the pretence of going to the toilet, is just..well..the corridor to the mosque kitchen. I think I preferred my childhood outlook :)

Then there were the women. My grandma knows pretty much everyone, so countless women who I do not know were randomly shaking my hand as they came by to meet her (I don't think many of them knew who I was either). Hand shaking: fine. Very nice, pleasant and over and done with very quickly. What I do NOT appreciate is situations like this:
Unknown lady approaches Grandma: How are you?! So nice to see you!
Humaira sits, minding own business.
Without warning, Humaira's head is gripped in a vice hold and turned almost 180 degrees, to breaking point of her neck.
Unknown lady, currently breaking Humaira's neck: AND WHO ARE THESE GIRLS?!  ARE YOU [insert father's name]'S DAUGHTER?!

Humaira  (out loud, in strangled tone): YES, YES I AM.
Several seconds of unknown lady just observing, whilst maintaining her death grip, then letting go.
Humaira whimpers in pain and curls into a ball as Unknown lady initiates a similar attack on the cousin, who is brain damaged following the severity of the event.

Yes. The joys of community.

SO, back to the point! I had to blog, because *that* day finally arrived. Yes. I made food willingly! True, it was only falafels, which aren't very hard to make, but if you had observed the burnt-to-a-crisp messes that all my previous cooking attempts have become, you would understand the achievement here.
The adventure, a tour de force of tears, laughs and sheer adrenaline thrills, is documented below.(Note, the excessive detail about cooking is for you, Aunty Em. Since you enjoy these things).
  • 13:05- wake up. Look, I'm making the most of being able to sleep in before uni starts. And I am a slob. 
  • 15:00- Younger brother enters room. He begins high school for the first time on Monday, and is fretting about what should go in his pencil case and what shouldn't, therefore wants me to sit with him and sort it out. Bless.
  • 16:00- I decide to make falafels having seen a rather nice picture of them in my student cookbook (win!). Drive to Asda with brother (watching out for the nasty parking attendant who hounded me when I scraped my car. Brother (all 5 foot of him) promises to beat him up for me if he sees him.). Pick up ingredients and much unnecessary junk food.
  • 18:00- In true Asian style, totally ignore quantities in recipe book and begin throwing together ingredients in random amounts. No self respecting Asian housewife pays any regard to ingredient quantities. If you can't guess it intuitively, according to my mum, you're not a cook.
  • 19:00- Falafel are ready to fry and red onion/peppers/tomato/lettuce salad is made (hungry sigh....), and pitta breads are ready. There is a small moment of horror when I drop several falafels into the oil and they start to disintegrate. Note to future Humaira: ALWAYS BIND THEM WITH EGG.
  • 19:45- Toast pitta breads on panini type grill. My finger, in a random suicide attempt, decides to toast itself as well. This was extremely painful. 
  • 20:00- Rather messy pitta bread toasties are complete, and finally eaten. And are not bad, and nobody dies as a result of food poisoning! Success!
So yes. I am now no longer demoralised and shall endeavour to make more challenging things, that require more than simply being mashed up in a blender and fried.
And because I was so proud, I took photos :D This is before they were semi destroyed by frying. (Please Note: I'm not an Arab, or a cook. Clearly I cannot do Arab food justice- I'm just glad they turned out edible).

Yes. Because it is the only kind of salad combination worth eating.
I forgot to photo the actual finished result. Yes, that kind of absent mindedness is possible.OH! (Nope, not done yet).
I had another photo to add, because the Wolves crew visited again :D Hasan feeding Baby Bear strawberry jelly:

Okay, I think I'm done now. I should go and try to relieve my semi broken neck, and devise more recipes involving chickpeas.
Over and out :)


    1. "Unknown lady just observing". Hummus, she was judging you like all women do to the youger kind.
      And she would have concluded negative thoughts on your appearance (of course) and probably thinks she knows everything about your personality.
      Yep, my tuna pasta post on my blog shall arrive later today.
      (Hello Aunty Em! =P)

    2. Ah well, at least she'll have by default assumed I'm a tart, and so I'm off the radar :) Even if she tried to kill me in determining it.
      YAY FALAFEL! I just like saying it.
      And now I can actually tell you to get back in the kitchen :D Ha!

    3. I am so impressed! Wow they look scrumptious. A big well done! Naturally you will be a good cook u know, cos ur creative, just have more faith. I also reckon you would make a brilliant surgeon, does that require creativity? Who knows, you would a do neat and tidy job if nothing else. Awww hello Emad. You are very sweet for not ignoring me! Oh and do you cook? You can have a copy of the recipes I'm gonna do for humaira, if one likes. Humaira, those boys are gorgeous, can I baby sit the next time they come down?

    4. Yes I can cook! Kinda, sorta, maybe, a little bit, possibly, hopefully. That is my full answer! >_<
      Yes! Those recipes would be great. Pass them onto Hummus. ...Who should be sharing a certain falafel recipe with me, ahem.

    5. They look really nice :D Well done :)
      The Unknown Woman was probably trying to decide who to marry you off to and storing all physical details so she can suggest you when someone asks. Sorry, but that's how Asian's roll :)