Last week was an incredibly busy and productive week, alhamdullilah. For starters, I saw the very impressive food documentary, Fresh, which I plan to review here soon.
I also met some wonderful people at the Chicago Botanic Garden where I learned about how to properly clean gardening tools, everything you want to know about growing tomatoes, keeping bees or every variety of pepper around. Volunteers were set up to give away free Victoria Cauliflower plants and answer questions about how to keep it alive when you take it home.
I also spent one morning learning the right way to make chappati (a traditional Indian bread) from a wonderful mom and daughter duo. More on that later this week, insha’allah. I also met a very new, very green, very halal poultry vendor who runs their business out of Aurora, IL. (resources below).
The highlight of the week was being a guest on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, a Washington, D.C. based radio show of American University on 88.5 FM. I was asked to contribute my thoughts on iftar (breaking of the fast)and the various culinary traditions Muslims bring to the table, literally.
I arrived at Navy Pier downtown Chicago to the WBEZ studies of 91.5 FM, Chicago Public Radio, where I would be interviewed remotely, along with Lobna Ismail, President of Connecting Cultures, Inc. and Andy Shallal, Owner of Busboys and Poets.
The interview was great fun and very interesting to listen to the perspectives of the other guests and their own culinary traditions. Andy Shallal made everyone hungry talking about his Iraqi dishes traditionally eaten for iftar! We had callers from as far away as Morocco who phoned in to share culinary traditions for iftar at home and within their cultures at large. Many thanks to Kojo Nnamdi for bringing light to this great topic. You listen to the interview, Iftar and Food Traditions Across the Islamic World here.
Al Andalus Foods, Inc.
Aurora, IL. Hand-slaughtered halal chicken. 630. 297-7547. At home delivery (local) is available.