Summertime is finally here. I can tell it’s here to stay by the constant heat and humidity, although other climates might be a bit more appealing at the moment. It’s still a great time to take advantage of the sunshine, cool evening breezes and some really wonderful, fresh and seasonal foods.
Ramadan is starting in just a couple days and it’s a time of great joy and happiness for Muslims around the globe. Although the food is not the main highlight of each day, it sure is something we savor and feel grateful for when the time does come to enjoy a nutritious and healthy meal with our families and friends.
I love to do that ‘affresco‘, or outside, if possible.
I know during Ramadan, after breaking the fast, then praying and sitting down to eat the main meal it’s already dark. If you have a space (i.e. a deck) that can be easily lit and also keep away the bugs (try a fan overhead or off to the side), it can be such a great way to connect with your loved ones over the Iftar.
Here are my tips for pulling it all together:
1. Find the Right Spot. We don’t have a deck or large enough spot outside for putting a table and chairs, but we do have some scenic spots around our yard that give us great views of nature. That’s where I like to be, even if only dim lights surrounding us give us a beautiful nearsighted view.
2. Get great lights. Most people decorate with indoor lights during Ramadan; some also decorate the exterior of the house. Outdoor string lights where you dine affresco can make it all that much more charming- plus, you’ll be able to see your food!
These overhead string lights hang from tree to tree.This lantern hangs nearby. It was a fun vintage find at my local antique shop that I painted black for dramatic effect, and is perfect and beautiful for setting the atmosphere during Ramadan nights.
Add some extra lights on the table, too. I found these yellow ones at Menards on the clearance rack last year.
3. Simplify the decor. No need to be fancy; in fact, being outdoors should be fun and easy. That doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty or even elegant and beautiful, but it doesn’t have to be overdone, either. Just choose only what you
like love to surround yourself with when dining, even if it means bringing out your best serving ware.
4. Put some non-breakables on the table. Accidents do happen, especially outside. When something breaks on concrete or pavers, it’s a bit more dramatic- and dangerous since it’s harder to clean up so try adding something like reusable plastic serving glasses.
I got these colorful ones from Target, also on the clearance rack last Fall.
Even the lemons here are decorative, but the real ones won’t damage much by a tumble. They do add a pop of color, though.
5. Stand Back and Take it All In. From afar, you can really see what you’ve put together, which is also how your guests will get their first glance of they dining table. From there, you can edit.
As the sun goes down, it all looks even prettier…
Do you think you’ll have any outdoor dinners or Iftar gatherings this summer?