A Mother’s Pride

By Huma Siddiqui

Annika Konrad encouraged me to write my thoughts for this wonderful project about growing up with a mother who was blind for most of her life.  My mother was one of the bravest people I have ever met.  Her resiliency, positive attitude and perseverance are only a few of the attributes I believe I learned from her. I do believe that I would not have been able to cope with the many twists and turns in my own life without these strengths.

One of the stories I wanted to share was that my mom was always worried that I would not turn out to be a good cook because she was unable to be in the kitchen with me to share the tricks of the trade. It is a big deal in the culture and a mother’s responsibility to make sure that the daughters are raised to be gracious hostesses and great cooks. I was the only daughter and the youngest one in the family.  As a young girl, I really couldn’t understand her concerns and all the hoopla around it.  We always had a lot of help in the kitchen and around the house, and I didn’t think anything would change during my adult life. My mom used to say, “Huma, when you get married, I don’t want to hear that my daughter doesn’t know how to cook.” To make my mom happy, I learned some of the basic recipes as I prepared food with our family cook at the time.

Lo and behold, I got married and left the country to pursue my married life in a completely new country. Believe it or not, I did start to cook and clean, etc., because there was no help available and I was kind of on my own. My passion for cooking and entertaining started from there on. I used to write to my mom to let her know what I cooked that day and I was inviting people to my home for dinner, etc. My goal was really to ensure that she could feel happy that she did not fail as a mother, and her daughter did turn out to be somewhat what she wanted.

I have cooked hundreds of meals for my kids, friends and family over the years. Here I am, almost 30+ years later, owning a spice business with my dearest son, teaching cooking classes and hosting a weekly cooking show to introduce people to the art and benefits of cooking at home and enjoying it with family and friends. My first cookbook, Jasmine in Her Hair- Culture and Cuisine from Pakistan was published a few years ago. The title is actually a tribute to my mother because she used to wear Jasmine flowers in her hair, and as my first cookbook, it has to be a tribute to her.

Huma Siddiqui grew up in Pakistan and now lives in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin where she hosts a cooking show called White Jasmine.

Featured image: owned by Huma Siddiqui

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One thought on “A Mother’s Pride

  1. I suspect that in your mother’s eyes, Huma, you turned out to be much more than just “somewhat what she wanted.” Your love of family, life, and fine food is clearly an ode to her, and has always inspired me. 🙂

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