Real Women Cook

Since when is frozen foods and take out better than home cooked meals? I recently went to a gathering and was asked how often I cook, I gave my response shamefully (thinking it was not enough) “Three to four times a week.” I said,  the person responded “Oh man! 3-4 times? man thats crazy, you must get so tired!” with this look of pity.

If this sort of response was coming from an unmarried or even NEWLY married girl then I would completely understand.

I have to admit for the longest time I fought the housewife title, I refused to give in to the everyday chores and fall into the trap of cooking every day (not to mention I sucked at it!). Alhumdulilah I grew out of that thinking and became mature. The only people to look down upon housewives are women themselves.   I think our generation of ladies don’t want to end up as a typical housewife.  Many of us may think our mothers had it hard or hated what they did.

I used to think cooking was a chore for my mother, but I’ve realized she truly enjoys it.  Through her food she expresses her creativity, passion and love.  When we were sick she made the best soup, when we were leaving for a trip she made her famous pulao, each event or situation was linked with her food item.  There was no skipping or taking the easy way out for them, they wanted their meals to be absolutely p.e.r.f.e.c.t.

After marriage I have gained a whole new appreciation for good food, cooking is indeed an art.  I underestimated the effort put into it,  behind good food is a talented woman.

Don’t get me wrong, I work part-time, but working woman or not, a mother/wife is a homemaker.  Allah SWT has blessed women with the ability to provide warmth, love and comfort. Think back to what made your parents’ home? I think of laughter, joy, TLC and and and….FOOD! Till this day I get excited when I go to my mom’s house because I’m so eager to eat her food. It’s a whole other story how I always end up gaining weight when I’m in Maika (mom’s house).

Sadly, these days homes are missing the food aspect.  I don’t believe tv dinners, frozen foods and eating out can ever replace what our mothers did for us.

It’s not about your class or education, it just a natural thing to do. I recently came across a Pakistani person who said “My mom is a working woman so when we go home we have to figure out our own dinner and fend for ourselves.” I thought that was so depressing. The lack of dinner isn’t just about not having food, it just gives a home an empty feeling.

My aunt is a doctor and is working insane hours, however every weekend she cooks about 5-6 dishes to last her a week. In my book she is a super woman; She knows her children depend on her for a good meal. Anyone can pop in a microwave meal or whip up a sandwich, but it takes a real woman to cook up a meal for her family.

For women who really find it difficult to squeeze out time for cooking, do it on the weekends. Have your husband help and make it into a bonding activity.  If your husband is cooking, I would give him a ton of compliments so it encourages him to do it again!

The dinner table isn’t just a place for food but it is a time for bonding, discussion and crucial family time.  Days are discussed, problems are solved and of course food critiquing is done.
Don’t feel discouraged if a meal or two…or a dozen go wrong, practice makes perfect! (although I feel like I’m stuck in the practicing phase!)

Ladies whether it be once a week or every day, we should uphold that tradition of cooking. It isn’t hurting our feminism, it isn’t degrading, its an art our mothers have mastered and we should too!

Something to cook about….

Samosa Fest – An American Muslim Family’s tradition


There is nothing better than biting into a delicious crunchy golden samosa after a day of fasting, but there are several steps that go into making samosas and it can be a tiring and time consuming process.  The Ayub family has turned this very tedious process into a festive family reunion.

For the past five years the Ayub family has been having the pre-Ramadan Samosa Fests.  Women in their family sit around, enjoy each others company and make perfect triangular shaped samosas. The first Samosa Fest was born when family members began talking at an iftaar.

“We decided that everyone makes samosas, so we should get together and make them together,” explained Humaira Ayub, one of the hosts of Samosa Fest.

The women bring their own batch of keema from home and then add the onions and other “masala”  when they get to Samosa Fest. Then everyone helps to complete one batch (5 pounds makes approximately 150 samosas) for the family member, This takes about 45 minutes, said Ayub.

“When it comes to preparing the samosas the women form an assembly line. The younger girls of the family usually do the sticking of the samosas and the putting them into ziplock bags,  while the more experienced wrap the samosas,” said Ayub.

Family members have traveled several hours for this annual event and see it as a way to spend quality time and get into the festive Ramadan spirit. One year the entire family went to Boston, they made Samosas in the afternoon and then after that they went on a duck tour.

While  the women do the Samosa assembling the guys are usually throwing around a football and the event usually concludes with a big family dinner. Each year, a different family volunteers to host Samosa Fest. The host for the first Samosa Fest,  Sharmeen Khan, had custom Samosa Fest aprons made for all the guest.

” I wanted to give everyone a party favor and aprons seem to suit the event,” said Khan.

She also added that Samosa Fest is about creating traditions,  ” It’s just fun! It’s also an amazing way to pass on a tradition and skill. Since we’ve been doing this, all of us including the girls are great at making samosas.”


Does your family have any Ramadan traditions? We would love to hear about your family’s traditons!