I am making apple cobbler today. A couple of days ago, we had a one of S.'s colleagues and his family over for dinner. They brought us lots of fruit. We're only 2.5 people (Heemu only likes to take a little lick or suck of everything, so he's the .5) and we can't eat that much fruit. The bananas and oranges we finished, but the apples; two days of apples for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the end was nowhere near. So I decided to make apple cobbler. I can smell the cinnamon as I type. Baking is not my forte; I hope it turns out okay.
We went to Medina yesterday. We decided to take a day trip. The last time I went, in 2008, I was in a bus, exhausted from jet lag and travelling at night. Awake and travelling under the blazing sun this time, I acknowledged that the government did a really good job with the highways. It was such a smooth ride. The surrounding mountains, consisting dark brown and jagged rocks, were a magnificent sight. I pondered how the Muslims in the Prophet's (pbuh) time would have felt walking this terrain under the blazing sun. The two and an half hour journey at 140km/h (yes the speed limit here is like 200 km/h) for us, must have taken them days. Would I have been able to make that journey? One thing is for sure, I would have prayed for a lot of courage and strength from Allah (SWT). Allhumdulillah for cars with air conditioning.
We stopped at Badr along the way. They've made a mural on a wall near the battle ground with a map and the names of the shuhadah. Drive a little further and there is a little monument with the names of the shuhada listed on it. S. and I were impressed by their efforts and thought they should do similar things with other important places throughout the Kingdom. Create tourist stops where significant historical events took place and use the opportunity to educate the people and boost their tourism industry. It would be a great opportunity for da'wah as well. Imagine, being able to take a tour of all the important places during Prophet's (pbuh) time and having informed guides lead you through the history as you imagine yourself travelling back in time. *Sigh*...if only!
The crowd was pretty light in Medina. They've done a marvelous job with installing collapsible canopies in the courtyard that provide lots of shade. With a light, cool breeze, it's very comfortable to pray outside as well. Because, I couldn't take Heemu inside with his stroller, I prayed outside with a whole bunch of the other mothers. A saf of strollers, parked behind us. After lunch, we went shopping. Taybah market is the best place to shop for Abayahs and everything else, all under one roof. Walking through the market, my mind took a little journey back in time as I imagined this place in the Prophet's time. An open market, with the hustle and bustle of people under the sun, as they go about selling and buying. From out of nowhere, the Prophet (pbuh) grabs his companion from behind asking "who would buy this slave?". The laughter of the people as they share in the Prophet's (pbuh) little prank. How different the city would have been then?
After asr, we made our way to Maktab Al-Jarir (Jarir Bookstore). Many people had recommended visiting it, and what a place it was. I felt I was walking into a Chapters or an Indigo. The place was overflowing with books of all genres, for all ages, in Arabic and English. They also sell computers and accessories, stationery, book bags, teaching aids etc. It's a wonderful place to get lost in. We were planning to go 'in and out', just grab what we needed (some Arabic workbooks) and out in five (minutes). But we spent a good hour and a half just browsing aisle after aisle. It's our new' must-make-a-stop when we're in Medina' place.
The apple cobbler turned out pretty good, Allhumdulillah. S. gave it his nod of approval. He's the one with the sweet tooth, so if he likes it then it's all good. Next time, I won't fret over having too many apples in the fridge just waiting to wrinkle away. Perhaps I'll make apple crumble.
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