We moved to our current neighbourhood almost four years ago, and we’ve met some incredible people since. We’ve been blessed with tremendous neighbours- the type I call upon when in a bind; who shower us with friendly smiles and kind gestures; who make us feel welcomed and loved. We’ve come to love our neighbours and are so fortunate to belong to such a friendly community.
As the years have passed, I’ve forced myself outside of my comfort zone (and taken H along for the ride). I want my children to feel like Ramadan is something they can share with the various communities they belong to, not just the Muslim ones.
This Ramadan I prepared soup jars that I thought might be appreciated as all one needs to do is add water! This was actually something I planned to do last year but ran out of time. This year I made it a priority and worked in increments (around everyone’s schedules).
To make these Moroccan Lentil Soup jars, I bought and washed a bunch of mason jars.
Then I filled them with red lentils, layered with dehydrated onions and a spice mix as per the recipe.
Then added some more lentils and topped with a bay leaf.
I spent a good deal of time looking online for pre-made labels (how I wish I was more graphically-tech savvy) before I gave up and decided to make my own with good old scrapbook paper, tags, a pen and a gold marker I happened upon while cleaning up. I wrote the cooking directions on the back of the tag.
Originally, I wanted H to help me measure and prep but there was no time for that. She happily came out to deliver the jars.
A sense of community is very important to me. Taking care of neighbours is also a big part of our faith. In the Quran, God instructs us:
I find it remarkable how it’s not just the neighbours we know that we are supposed to do good towards, but those who we don’t know either. Inshallah I plan to expand my efforts next year to include neighbours that I don’t know as well. It’s actually my dream to host an open iftaar for everyone in my complex!
I couldn’t believe how happy the elders I delivered the jars to were to receive them (and a visit from H)! They are honestly always so touched that they haven’t been forgotten about. I really love that my kids have access to these “next door nanas” in the absence of their biological grandparents.
I am so grateful for our wonderful neighbours! And to a mayor who is cool enough to designate June 17 as “Neighbour Day” in my city to strengthen communities.
Happy Neighbour Day folks!