Ayla & I
Hi! I'm Nadia. Its hard to introduce myself without first describing where I came from. Its like that quote ""You don't know where you're going until you know where you've been" I come from a big family with even bigger traditions. Sunday morning family breakfast with Fayruz (the female Frank Sinatra of the Middle East) playing in the background, the smell of mamool cookies ( traditional semolina cookies that are the chocolate chip cookie of the middle east) in preparation for the holidays, meticulously rolling stuffed grape leaves (or watching my Mom do it) or eating sushi at our favorite sushi spot when I come back to visit New Jersey.
Before I had my daugher, Ayla, I began to think about raising a family and the traditions that I would carry. Food is such a central part of my family but I realized I didn't know how to cook and bake nearly as well as my grandmother and mother and I couldn't just go to the store and pick things up! With the pressure of perserving these traditions to my unborn children and their children's children looming over my head, I began to frantically learn different dishes. This involved lots of long distance phone calls to my grandmother to get measurements for her famous food. Getting exact measurements from her usually consisted of , "a splash of this " or a "little bit of that " or "add to taste". On top of her special ingredients which were hard to find, the dishes were even harder to execute! But I persevered and was determined to simplify and streamline without sacrificing taste or quality. No easy feat!
When my grandmother passed away, I missed our time spent cooking and realized I still had so much to learn from her. It was through this frantic obsession of trying to hold on to my memories as a young girl in my mother and grandmother's kitchen and an even greater drive to try to recreate those memories for my daughter that Sweet Pillar™ was born.
My hope is to hold on to memories filled with family and laughter through food while creating new ones as my family and friend circle expands.
Sweet Memories, Sweet Moments, Sweet Pillar™.
Here's some info about me, juuuusssst in case you're curious about who's behind Sweet Pillar™ =)
1. I'm so uncomfortable talking about myself. Man up, Nadia. Okay, here we go. I think I just had a conversation with myself, awkward.
2. I was born in Damascus, Syria but moved to New Jersey, USA when I was a year old.
3. I don't have any formal training in cooking BUUUTT I do think my mother and grandmother are such amazing cooks that they could've ran their own culinary institute so I'm sort of formally trained. Right? :)
4. I did not know how to cook or even grocery shop, which is an underappreciated skill, before I got married almost 8 years ago.
5. I'm obsessed with my daughter Ayla Noor, hamdullah. She is so funny, I can't even take it. She totally knows I'm obsessed by the way and she is a pro at manipulating me, and most of the time it works! agh. Ayla 158964885 Nadia 0
6. I have self-diagnosed seasonal depression so I left cold winters of the East Coast and moved to sunny Southern California 9 years ago. I'm involuntarily involved in a heavy East Coast/West Coast battle ever since.
7. I come from a family mainly of Dentist including my husband, and I'm completely terrified of the dentist. Funny how the universe works.
8. My husband motivated me to pursue this passion, while I was working on a graduate degree in child psychology (I still find the topic fascinating!).
9. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters and I'm number 2 in the birth order. hah.
10. I am fascinated by the majesty and beauty of trees.