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Where my Journey of Cape Malay Cooking began

Where my Journey of Cape Malay Cooking began

I remember like it was yesterday, the very first time mom called me to come and help her in the kitchen, I was only 9 years old, with scruffy, wavy hair and big brown eyes, I would stop with whatever I was doing at that moment and run bare feet in a sprint and in the kitchen I will be.

Eager to please, I jumped at any and every opportunity to spend time with mom and just take it all in. She was a very popular lady. She was known not only as a talented cook and baker and her amazing culinary skills but also for her warm and welcoming personality. She knew just how to make any person feel at home and she did this with the help of all the lovely treats she would make in her tiny and modest kitchen. If anyone would take note, they would see me behind, next to or not too far from her…

I was a quiet kid that did not say much, I guess I was taking it all in. It started with the simple peeling of potatoes and as time passed, my four sisters, brother and I would graduate to the next cooking skill, each one getting a turn to do a specific cooking task. I could not get enough; all my senses came alive like never before — the sound, the sight and the smell of a humble onion frying in hot oil and showing off its sizzling skills to his two new friends, cinnamon stick and cardamom pod and when it rained with fresh curry leaves, they all would jump for joy, for the curry show has just begun.

Truth be told, I can’t think of a day that our home did not have visitors. Friends and family would come from all over the Cape and mom made sure no one would go home hungry or empty-handed. There was always a “barakat” because there was always something cooking on the stove or baking in the oven.

How she managed to feed so many with so little was a skill in itself. We were a thousand miles from rich and a meter close to poor, but she did it and created memories with all her loved ones that to this day seem as vivid and clear as the day it happened. What a legacy!

This one is dedicated to you mom, our beloved Wasiela Sydow.



1 thought on “Where my Journey of Cape Malay Cooking began”

  • Hi dear I am in love with your cooking it makes me want to cook everyday if I could I even record every season of your shows so when I want make a dish I watch your videos lol.🤗