Among the preparations for the ZF DE annual iftar for the 99 Orphan team was Cookie Day. A group of girls from the 99 Orphans team met together to bake and pack 300 cookies to give as gifts to guests on the iftar date. On July 23rd, eight girls met together during early noon in one member’s house. Full of energy and excited to get started, they set up different stations in the kitchen and dining room and got right to work.
The kitchen was bustling with activity as the girls worked on their self-assigned tasks. Reahaam, Nur, and Hana first worked on cutting, hole-punching and writing the website address on the tags while Samiyah and Rania worked on warming up the cookie dough and Huda and Merve made dough balls and put them on the trays.
After the first hour went by, things began getting more organized. The girls realized that making the cookies was going to take time and they only had a few hours left together. Soon, each girl had an important job to do that was necessary to the completion of the cookies.
Rania was in charge of the kitchen. It was her job to make sure that the cookies were cooked well and didn’t get burnt. She also had to place the dough on the tray in such a way to make the maximum amount of cookies in one time but also avoiding having the cookies stick together.
The other girls were situated around the dining table to work on packing the cookies. After showing the girls how to wrap cookies, cut ribbon, tie the plastic wrap, curl the ribbon, attach the tags to the ribbon, and the other jobs that had to be done, Nur set the girls at different areas around the table.
One wrapped a cookie with plastic wrap. Another cut ribbon and handed them to the girl who tied the packs. Two girls worked on curling the ribbon and another girl piled the cookie packs together and kept a count of how many were done and how many more needed to be done.
Although it was lots of fun, the girls also got very tired. After a few hours, many of the girls wanted to take breaks and play. The girls curling the ribbon had sharp pains in their wrists after a few hours of curling. “My wrist was hurting so badly,” Samiyah remembers, grinning. All the girls had to keep washing and drying their hands whenever they got chocolate on them so the packs wouldn’t get dirty.
To add to the difficulty, all the girls were fasting and couldn’t sample the cookies they were making. Although they were surrounded by delicious-looking treats and the smell was wafting all around them, they had to continue making and packing the cookies without getting a taste. “It was really hard for me not to eat the cookies,” one member says. “I kept reaching for the crumbs and almost popping them in my mouth but remembering just in time that I was fasting.”
By the time five hours had passed by, the girls were exhausted and the cookies were only half done. They tried to speed up, but they had less energy and things were getting done slower. They finally decided to complete the cookies the next day. Rania would bake 100 more cookies at home during the night after Tarawih prayers and before Fajr. The rest of the girls would meet up with her and finish packing up those cookies.
Satisfied with their plan, the girls quickly finished up the cookies they had and got ready to leave. Their mothers noticed the difference in their appearance and energy levels. One remarked, laughing, “On the way there, all the girls in the car were talking at once and laughing. But on the way back, is was very quiet. No one was talking.”
The girls were tired, but they were happy that they had done something good. They hoped their efforts would help get money for orphans. And they hoped the real cookies would taste good because the burnt ones they brought back home with them weren’t that great.
On the day of the iftar, the trays of colorful cookie packs looked wonderful. All the guests were excited to sample the cookies on their iftar plates. All of the kids excitedly talked with each other about their cookies and everyone thought they were delicious.
The girls were satisfied with their cookie-making venture and are already planning something similar for the future…maybe brownies…
Were you one of the lucky cookie tasters? Did you enjoy eating the cookies? If you did, please consider donating to the orphan project and giving enjoyment to an orphan the way the orphan team members worked hard to give enjoyment to you.
~ Nur Kose