Every Ramadan we fill the air with smell of Gingerbread. The funny thing is I never made Gingerbread houses in my home as a Christian. Although, I love going to hotels and seeing all the Gingerbread displays at Christmas, it was never a family tradition in my home until I became Muslim.
One year, a homeschooling/mom's group that I was part of in California, Bay Area Muslim Moms, had a wonderful Eid party. Children were encouraged to dress up as their favorite Muslim heroes or heroins or just in a generic Aladdin costume, it didn't matter, dressing up was the key. Moms and Dads were also dressed up! One of the creative moms from that group and the talented farmer of the blog: Soul Flower Farm created this most wondrous Muslim Gingerbread Village with camels and palm trees. And happily ever after, it became our family tradition to make a gingerbread Masjid also. Many times, we have invited friends to join us. This year was one of those time.
Ginger is a spice that Allah (God) says will be in Paradise. (It has great health benefits on Earth as well.)
"And they will be given to drink there (in Paradise) of a cup mixed with Zanjabil (Ginger)" - Quran 76:17I've searched Google for information on the Muslim world's relationship to Gingerbread. It is definitely a South-east Asian (India) spice brought to Europe during the Spice Trade by the Muslims. Many Muslim countries have their own variation of gingerbread, however turning it into a snowy house with candy is a Western concept. As a American Muslim, I think making Gingerbread Masjids are apropos, a perfect example of where East meets West in history and in present day.
I make my own gingerbread because I love the smell, simply put. No need for burning candles for at least a week after baking, the smell of gingerbread will dance through your nostrils. I also love to cut the dough in the specific design for the Masjid. I usually draw the gingerbread template on graph paper and then lay it on top of the dough and cut it out. In anticipation of sharing the template, I created a simple one in Publisher for my readers to print out. Just because Ramadan has left doesn't mean you can not still make a Gingerbread Masjid. These are perfect for other Islamic Parties and Eid al Adha which will be here before we know it.
. . . and you don't need an occasion at all, just a great Saturday morning activity with your children.
Do you have a recipe box, this is ours that I ordered from here and these are the recipe cards that I made to go into the box for the Gingerbread Masjid and Icing.
Follow the directions to mix the ingredients together, the molasses can get a little messy.
Although, I did most of the cutting, I did let my Little Beloveds give it a try.
You can shape the dough before you place the baking sheet in the oven. You need to cut out 1 Masjid front and 3 flat sides.
Setting up the table for our guests, each plate had the pieces they needed for the Masjid. Bowls were for candy, I asked our guest to bring their favorite candy for the extra bowls. The cups were for icing, we had a pink, blue, yellow, and green icing in each cup.
Our friends bought more candy!
We decorated all the sides before we assembled, this way it allowed the other sides to dry and it easier to decorate when the pieces are lying flat.
Each mom was there to help their daughter assemble the Masjid.We heavily layered the bottom of the plate with icing so that they can stand up better.
By layering the bottom of the plate with icing, you can add more candy to the plate. More candy is more fun! The practical side of having candy there, because it is an open courtyard Masjid, you can make it look like tile or a Persian rug.
This side was actually a mistake, but was one of the most beautiful sides on any of the Masjids made. It is a valuable lesson that mimics turning lemons to lemonade. Even our mistakes can be turned into great beauty, with patience and perseverance.
More Ramadan 2012 posts:
* Preparation for Ramadan
* Ramadhan Interior Decoration
* Ramadan for Intelligent People
* Gingerbread Masjid
* I'm Fasting
* Ramadan for Children
* A Retreat with a View
* The Post of Eid Past (yes, this title was influenced by Charles Dickens)
* Eid al Fitr 2012
More Baking with Love ♥
Cupcakes ♥Kool-aid Playdough ♥