The Ramadhan 1440 Preps

Last year I don’t really over think everything but we knew this year is going to be different. Not that I become lazy to wake up very early, or do stuff eagerly, no. I just quite lack the energy - I mean I still cook & all but the capacity is lesser. So yeah, I (& Mr. Darcy) tried it differently this year: we did a lot of preparation and we were excited. What are they? Common things, actually. Like, food stocking, cleaning, listing stuff, and decluttering.

Originally featured on Mosqetch, for sketching solidarity for NZ shooting. Drawing by me.
Since it’s Ramadhan day 3, and it’s not too late to start (or continue), we’re going to share a bit of our common preps - which we sure y’all already made steps ahead us.


gerund or present participle: decluttering

  1. remove unnecessary items from (an untidy or overcrowded place).

    "there's no better time to declutter your home"
(from Google define).

Decluttering is fun. I’ve been doing it regularly since middle school. The reason behind it was because I was (and still) a messy person. So I need to sort things out every once in a while. I once became a shopaholic - believe me, I was - and things became stacked so much, too messy to handle. I forgot what I’ve owned and sometimes I bought things twice. Duh! So when I do the decluttering, I chose what I like best and kept it in my inventory, then gave away the rest to those interested. Year after year my stuff became lesser and lesser. Such a minimalist - this is also inspired by how Mr. Darcy has a similar experience (and troubles) and his decision to become one has been made up far long before mine. Now I only keep a small pile of outfits, shoes, make ups & bags in my closet.

Pretty much inspired by Marie Kondo. Image source.

And before Ramadhan started, after we finished the decluttering (yay!), we made our space bigger so our mind became cleaner, not disgusted or disturbed by unnecessary piling stuff we once bought without thinking.

P.S.: This also applies in other aspects. Declutter your mind from bad thoughts, unnecessary memory, debts (literally) and (even) toxic friendship.

Cleaning & Tidying

Decluttering itself has further actions to accomplish and two of them are cleaning & tidying. Cleaning, because we moved stuff and all from their previous places. So then the preoccupied space has dust in it (ew!) and we have to clean it for sure. Might need some readjustment and re-positioning, too. So that’s how the tidying become important. After all, we need to do this before Ramadhan since we still eat three times a day at least, lots of snacks in between meals (lol) and so our energy is still appropriate to do the big job.

Imagine me cleaning stuff with Cinderella style lol. Image Source.
Entering Ramadhan with clean & tidy place brings up clean & tidy mind, too.

Food Preps

Oh I really didn’t notice at first how this is very important. And I wish I could knew this sooner! Last year I chose to make everything from scratch, and since I no longer work outside, I was thinking that this was my main carrier so I didn’t need to make shortcut by preparing everything - or over thinking everything. And today, man this is one of our clever decision. So how’s the food preps works? See, you made everything half-done so what you need to do next is to finish it. What are the advantages? You have more time to do other stuff. Be it cooking more food, making snacks (and ta’jil), or most importantly: the ibadah - that main reason why you need to maximize the pack of bonuses of kindness in Ramadhan.

This year I made the basic seasoning preps in jars. Most Indonesians use at least three kinds of seasoning: the white, the yellow and the red. The white is made by mixed & minced shallots, garlics & candlenuts. The red consists of shallots, garlic, chilies & red pepper blended together. While the yellow uses shallots, garlic, ginger & turmeric, grounded or blended together. (I learned this from my mother, my own experience and also that cookery instagrammer out there. Try it). Put them in different jars and don’t forget the labels - also add the date you made it so you can predict when it will be expired. Most wet seasoning last a week in the chiller - or a month in the freezer. We only need to pinch what we need every time we start to cook. What a time saver!

As seen on my instagram.
For the other preps, I stocked various kind of food: the reheats, the easies, the fries & the instants:
  1.  The reheats are canned or frozen food (corned meats, rolade, sardines, etc). I bought and made some of long life food, too such as dried rendang, gepuk, pepes tahu, perkedel, etc.
  2. Some of the easies are canned, too, but they need or could be cooked in a lot of ways. For examples: meatballs, roulades, sausages, and eggs. Never forget the importance of eggs in your fridge. If you want more healthy foods, you can make it your own like preseasoned chicken, shrimps & fishes. By the time you need them for suhoor or iftaar, you can defrost and cook them as you like: fried or adding some broth or sauce you named it. They already seasoned anyway.
  3. The fries are stuff I only used on emergency (lol). For examples: instant chicken nuggets or tempura.
  4. The last is the most instant food ever. Be it precooked or dried food but we can always eat it directly without any heating or cooking. For examples are abon, mustopa, serundeng & kering tempe. Really useful in suhoor when you really have no time to heat or fry at all.
Instant food. So much to stock.

And don’t forget about fruits and veggies. Fruits are easy to eat and very important for our digesting system. Veggies, too. While fruits could be eaten raw, the time you’ve saved for the food preps above could be spent on cooking your veggies. They’re very simple. Use your basic seasoning, and voila! Or you can simply make salad out of it.

Fruits. Price ups and downs upon seasons.
Mr. Darcy loves crackers so much. I stock them too before I am too lazy lol.
(Fyuh, I wrote a lot about the foods. Too excited, yes).

Eid Preps (?)

Trust me, you need to make a list about this sooner than you think. If you plan to wear new clothes on Eid, this is very important. Most of tailors are busy during this season. So the faster you get them to sew your outfit, the longer the time they have to do it & both of you won’t need to be in rush. And if you want to buy clothes? Yes you can buy online but we all know how online shops are when it comes to clothes (lol). The department stores will be very crowded, especially when the Eid is near. So do it fast. If you don’t plan to buy new outfit (like us), you might skip this part.

Entering Eid with style (chill, it's just a parody). Image source.
Hampers. You know what, since we started our own family & become a part of society, we realized that hampers are quite needed especially for social sake (lol). But please note in your mind that those hampers are really for tighten the relationships between families, friends or neighbors, not for bragging or showing off. Just don’t over complicate yourself over this. The simplest hamper might consists of cookies, snacks or praying utility. Make a list properly about who’ll get what and why. Make sure they’re going to need it, too. Sometimes we over spend our money but they’ll end up cluttered and useless.
How you give your hampers. P.S.: for the halal couple only (he-he). Image source.
Also, you might need to spare your pennies for those nephews, nieces or those kids in the neighborhood. They come to see you in Eid and sometimes hoping those angpau from you (lol). This is also a culture that not everyone might do. And it doesn’t need to be money. A gift or special hamper might do the task.

List your Goals (and Strongly Suggest yourself to Do Them)

Oh why I put this on the last (lol). This is actually the most important thing you need to consider and make priority. The ibadah. In Ramadhan we have so many advantages, as the token for our fasting. They say that this month is like a practice. As we know that we can build a habit by doing things regularly as minimum as six times, in Ramadhan, we have twenty nine to thirty days to do so! For example:
How many or how much will you spend for shodaqoh, who’ll get it, and how.
Where will you do the Tarawih pray, and other sunnah prayers.
How many times will you recite and finish reading the Qur’an.
Have you planned to memorize some of the surah? (I haven’t even memorize all the 30th juz so maybe my goal is to memorize & understand more).
Consistently do the morning & afternoon dhikr.
Etc., etc. (Ramadhan is that kind, every good deeds are ibadah).

Quran. Image source.
Listing your goal helps pushing yourself to have commitment and consistency. It is actually fun, too. Growing up in here we have this Ramadhan activity book that need to be filled when we were in school. I wonder if the kids still have to fill it now? Oh and beware of the futur, too. So keep it low and simple, and bigger by the time we approach the end. Wallahu’alam bisshawab.

مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven (Hadeeth Bukhari 38, Muslim 760).

Marhabaan ya Ramadhan. May we get the best of kindness in this month. Amen. How's your Ramadhan going?

  • ta'jil: snacks that usually eaten on the beginning of iftaar.
  • ibadah: prayer & good deeds - specifically the prayers, tho.
  • rendang: Indonesian food made of beef with West Sumatra seasoning.
  • gepuk: Indonesian food also made of beef with West Java seasoning.
  • pepes tahu: a food made of steamed tofu with basil, lemon grass, and basic seasoning.
  • perkedel: a fried food from the beaten egg mixed with steamed or fried potatoes.
  • suhoor: Islamic term referring to the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims 
  • iftaar: the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadhan 
  • abon: dried beef.
  • mustopa: fried and red seasoned small-chopped potatoes.
  • serundeng: fried coconut with spices until dry.
  • kering tempe: fried tempeh, make it so dry and has long life span.
  • eid: the beginning of Month Syawaal in Islamic calendar which means the fasting is over. One of Islamic celebration day.
  • angpau: actually a Chinese term for money that given to kids during celebration day. Now we use this term in a lot of festivals.
  • shodaqoh: gifts those are given to those in needs (mostly in money or basic survival needs such as primary food)
  • tarawih: the prayer that only doable in Ramadhan. Usually after Isya.
  • juz: one of thirty parts (also called Para - پارہ) of varying lengths into which the Quran is composed of.
  • dhikr: devotional acts in Islam in which short phrases or prayers are repeatedly recited silently within the mind or aloud. Basically, remembering Gods and doing the good deeds are also considered dhikr.
(Wallahu'alam, CMIIW).

Images were retrieved from Google and some were mine, taken with Olympus PEN EPL 7 & iPhone 6.

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