Monday, October 16, 2006


When I was working in Chungking I loved Ramadan. Every evening, buckets of samosas and huge fruit platters would travel down the elevators for communal fast breaking on the ground floor.

Yet again, I've become caught up in Ramadan without actually doing any fasting. Students in my 6-8pm evening class are fasting and we stop mid-class for them to pray and start eating. Huge quantities of biscuits (untouched by fasting day time students) disappear in minutes and the class becomes much more lively as energy levels rise.

On Saturday we had an outing for students and their families to Kew Gardens. It may have been partly due to the fasting but everyone was much more interested in the edible plants than the decorative ones. Our tour guide mentioned that he had never needed to drag a group away from the allspice plant before.

There was a harvest themed exhibition sponsored by a cranberry juice company. I couldn't help feeling that it was a huge waste and tried to calculate how much 6 million cranberries would cost at Tesco. They had been dumped into a lake to demonstrate how the harvest is done by flooding fields in New England.

I really hope that someone is going to eat the pumpkins and squash on display. My local supermarkets only stock the butternut type and I was tempted to slip some of these into my backpack. With Diwali coming up, I'm thinking of making pumpkin halva.

Actually, it's been over a week since I cooked anything. All I've done in the kitchen lately is write down recipes and wash up. Hooray for guests who cook banquets!


Iqbal Khaldun said...

Mmmm and yes what a great banquet it was :-D

Hey can you teach me how to make pumpkin hulva?

Joe said...

Sure... Eid-al-fitr is next week - another excuse for halva.