This post has been languishing in the darkness of my mind for the last few days. A busy, working Saturday and an errand filled Sunday kept pushing the post further and further into the recesses. I really should plan better or schedule better, but I don’t seem to learn that lesson. I don’t hold a 9-5 regular job that takes me out of the house and so, my jobs come spur of the moment and suddenly I am busy. It makes having a social life non existent.
Another 2 days went by in a blur and here we are. But today, my heart is heavy. My heart has been heavy quite a bit lately.
I’m having such a hard time dealing with the amount of hate that is permeating our society. It’s nothing to do with religion or race, because theoretically, all religions are peaceful and people from different races are tolerant. But it is horrible, hateful people without a conscience who commit these heinous crimes, the sad thing is they use their religion/race as a springboard. These people use their religion or lack of, or an idea of their superiority, or more obviously, their ignorance, to push their ugly ideas and their hatred to attract attention. We like fools, give it to them. How did we get here? How are we so far gone?
I haven’t commented or written about all the past events and the uproar attached to them. Even when I was told, in not so many words, that I should stand up and condemn and apologise for the actions of a few nut jobs, I kept quiet. Why? Why should I apologise for a handful of crazies who decide to kill and terrorise? They do not represent me or my faith. I don’t expect apologies from other people when someone commits a crime, so why should I apologise? And even if I did, would it solve anything? No, because, really, can you reason with a deranged lunatic? The whole idea is absurd.
I’m writing today because today, I’m sad, hurt and depressed. I’m not angry because my faith does not teach me to be angry, it teaches me to be patient but I do get angry and I’m tired of being angry. I’m also tired of being sad but I feel the sadness and the sense of hopelessness isn’t going away soon. And I need to tell you what scares me.
The death of the three young Muslims on Tuesday night was a shocking wake up call. I understand that in the light of all that’s been happening around the world these last few years, supposedly caused by Muslims, there is a lot of anti Muslim feeling and hatred around the world. But I never thought it would come to this, not in America.
We all know it’s nothing to do with a dispute over a parking place, because if we are killing each other over parking spots, then we are more far gone than I thought. Execution style shootings…personal, up close and filled with hate. Don’t tell me it’s not hate motivated.
What scares me is that it can easily be me or my children. I wear a headscarf and every time I set foot outside, I am proclaiming to the world that I am a Muslim. There is no denying it. I wear my faith on my head, and I wear it proudly. I’m not scared for myself so much, but for my children who are still young and innocent. They are filled with the idea that all people are good. I have spent countless hours, days and years instilling in them feelings of kindness, consideration and appreciation. I have always asked them to find the good in people and to always assume the best.
I’m not going to stop telling them that but like so many African Americans have the talk about race and prejudice in their household, I am going to have the same talk with my children, in America, to my American -British- Indian- Muslim children, in their home. Remember in my last post when I said it was hard for me to belong in any one place? This is what I was talking about. I can handle not belonging, but I never, ever want my children to feel that these, the countries that they belong to, don’t welcome, acknowledge or value them as functioning, patriotic citizens.
I’ll address one thing that I know goes through people’s minds when it comes to the hijab or the headscarf. Many Muslim women don’t wear it so why don’t I take mine off? Because, it is a commandment from God in the Quran for all believing women to cover. It is a covering for modesty, and for women to be considered more than just “meat”. When a women covers, her beauty is hidden and her intelligence and personality shine first. Isn’t that what all women want? We want to be known for our minds not our body, at least, I do anyway. As such, the hijab isn’t a choice, it’s mandatory. But, you do have to be of a firm faith to put it on because it’s not easy for all the reasons that I’ve mentioned above.
My mother didn’t encourage the hijab when I was younger because of the stigma attached to it in the West. I put it on after I started having children, and no, my husband doesn’t make me wear it. I wear it because my faith tells me to be known as a believing women.
I know this is a food blog, and maybe not the place for this conversation, but at the same time, it is my voice, and it is my responsibility. As my readers and friends, you know me and so, you know a Muslim. I have always written openly, and you know my life, my happiness, my sadness, my struggles, and of course, what I eat on a daily basis.
Ask me anything you want, if you have questions or are confused about what the media tells you, ask me. You know me, and how I live my life. It’s an open book here on this site, and the rest of the Muslims? Yep, they are just like me. We eat, we sleep, we work, we make our lives, we pray, we enjoy ourselves, we enjoy family and friends. So, ask me.
There doesn’t seem to be any appropriate segue into my Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes recipe so this sentence will have to do! These are fabulous and lately, with the way I’ve been feeling, sugar, chocolate and bowls of rice are the most comforting foods. I sure picked the wrong month to go on a dairy and gluten free diet for my allergies. I’m so having withdrawals.
If you like the cake version of these or just like pineapple, you will adore these sweet things. These can easily be dessert or a very special breakfast, like for Valentine’s Day or birthdays, or any day.
Serves: 15-18 pancakes
- 2 cups/300g all purpose/plain flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups/470ml soured milk or buttermilk
- 2 eggs. large
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-1½ cups fresh pineapple, small diced pieces
- ½ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- butter for frying
- In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt and mix together,
- In another smaller bowl, add the soured milk or buttermilk, beat in the eggs, add the butter and vanilla. Mix together.
- Heat up a griddle or large skillet preferably non stick.
- Once the griddle has come to temperature, add the egg-milk mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture.
- Quickly and gently, mix the two together.
- Don't over mix, once all the dry flour has been incorporated, stop.
- Don't beat it smooth, you need it lumpy so the pancakes will be fluffier.
- Swirl around a bit of butter on the griddle to fry the pancakes.
- Using a ¼ cup/60ml ladle or scoop, pour out some batter onto the griddle.
- I usually make 4 inch/10cm round pancakes.
- Once the pancakes have set a little, scatter a tablespoon or so of the chopped pineapples over the surface of the pancakes.
- Sprinkle about a teaspoon of brown sugar over the pancakes.
- Once the edges of the pancakes seem a little dry, flip the panic carefully.
- Cook the pancake until the sugar has caramelised and the pancakes also have a few brown edges.
- Flip onto a plate and keep warm while you make the rest.
- Serve with some maple syrup or home-made syrup (recipe in the NOTES section)
Homemade Syrup: Place 1 cup of brown sugar into a small pan with ⅓ cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, boil for one minute, turn off heat. Add the vanilla. Use as pancake syrup. Keep the remainder in a jar on the counter or in the fridge. It will keep for a bit but you will have crystallisation at the bottom.
I make fresh syrup whenever I make pancakes, since it's so easy.
Thank you for listening, Honestly, the only place I belong is here, in the wonderful world of blogging and blogging friends. Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your loved ones, I’ll be working, churning out samples from the Dacor kitchen,