-This is a scheduled post. I have decided to stop "live posts" during the month of Ramadhan, to try to concentrate more fully on what I need to during the month. Please don't hesitate to make comments, as I will be stopping in once in a while to check how every body is doing. Have a blessed month every one!
I like to start preparing for Ramadhan at least a month in advance. Well, I try to start at least thinking about preparing. ;-)
One of the first things I do is make sure to make up any missed fasts form the previous Ramadhan, if I have not done so already. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it is not. Last year Tariq, Saad and I were horribly ill for half of the month, to the point where none of us could do more than make it to the bathroom and back, before collapsing on the bed. So I had more days to make up than I normally would.
I also like to make lots of lists. Lists of what dry goods we need to stock up on, lists of what surahs I want to try to memorize, list of meal ideas, lists of house cleaning chores I have to get done. Lists of all my different lists.
For household chores, I like to start the month fresh so first I clean out all the kitchen cabinets. I take out every thing form one shelf and give it a good clean. Then get rid of the expired stuff, and put every thing back, nice and organized. I do the same for the pots/pans/dishes too. I make sure to keep the karahi(cast iron pot, shaped kind of like a wok-used for deep frying), front and center as it will be getting daily use. Iftar in our house usually has lots of fried snacks like pakorey(like fritters, made with chickpea flour), samosey(potato stuffed fried pastry, sometimes beef or chicken is also used), and dahi barey(little dumplings made of chickpea flour fried and then put in a spicy yogurt sauce).
After all the cabinets are organized I hit the fridge and freezer. I give it a good scrub down, re-organize, and take stock to make sure nothing is going bad.
When we are in Pakistan during Ramadhan we tend to stock up on some things well in advance of the start of the month. Things like sugar, besan(chickpea flour), chickpeas, Rooh Afza, and stuff like that. During Ramadhan last year prices rose very sharply just before it started and stayed high the whole month. The price of sugar was almost double what it is now. So we make a big shopping trip about two weeks before the start and get as much as we think we will need. Another reason for this is that the markets get a bit crazy during Ramadhan. Many people will go out shopping in the evening to avoid going out during the heat of the day. It is just too crowded, and Tariq hates to go shopping in too much of a crowd.