Why I add a hint of cumin to almost everything I make


When I was a little girl, cooking was always around me. As a Syrian Jew, I spent hours watching specialty Middle Eastern food being made. I always wanted to help make the complicated Syrian recipes like lachamajin, kibbe, and sambusak I watched my grandpa spend hours making. Each dish was made with such precision and love and yet at the same time when it came to quantities, the response was “a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and then taste until you get the exact flavor.” These responses both invigorated and discouraged me. I was excited that I may one day be able to nail that exact flavor, but fearful that maybe I didn’t get that gene and maybe I would never make the food like my grandpa did.

As I have started cooking, I have gotten a better sense of the recipes and flavors. I have also built more confidence in asking questions and tweaking recipes as I create my food. Food and cooking are still always around me and I still love them. Even though I know my fractions, I am still able to use cooking to learn other skills that are more practical for my adult life.

The recipes I include in my cookbook are those close to my heart, that me to my family and as a result, ethnicity and religion.

Photo by Sanjay Acharya (Own work) GFDL  or CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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