Cooking All Night Long

by Weam Namou

I’m beat. For the first time today my sisters taught me how to make kubba Hamuth, an elaborate staple of Iraqi-Jewish cooking. Kubba hamuth is meat stuffed dumplings that we freeze in large quantities and later cook in a savory soup. It took five women hours to make this food. Unfortunately, my mother was not able to help, but she was there watching and making remarks.

With my mother’s health recently deteriorating, it dawned upon me the importance of cooking the food that has been passed down for ages from one woman to another. Women of kin would often gather and knead the rice with meat until it becomes like dough, then stuff it with meat and onions. They made various traditional foods and afterwards, shared a meal – today for instance, we ate dolma (stuffed grape leaves and other vegetables) and an Indian dish I prepared. Then we had watermelon and white cheese.

Though right now I am really exhausted, the experience was oh so lovely! I can’t wait for the next traditional dish we prepare and freeze. More importantly, I can’t wait to pass on these recipes to my children.