Saturday, March 19, 2011

Baba Shuma

It's been a while since I've blogged (almost a month!), and I feel like a million and a half things have happened since then.

Some things have been awesome, like my roadtrip through California, staying in a yurt for the first time, and visiting friends in Fresno and Napa.

Some things have been neutral, like turning 31.

Some things have been bittersweet, like my last day at work. (I love my peeps at The Tech Museum!)

And some things have been very hard, like losing my grandfather. Although he lived a long, amazing life (94 years!), it's impossible not to be sad. He was my last surviving grandparent, and he passed away less than a month before my move back to Chicago.

Things like this reaffirm that I've made the right decision to move back. It's no fun being stuck thousands of miles away from home when something difficult (or something happy) happens.

Our last photo together, Christmas 2010, with all his grandchildren

Baba Shuma as we called him (translation: father Samuel), was a diminutive man in stature (5'2" max) but a large man in presence. As a baby he managed to survive a large Assyrian exodus out of Urmia (present day Iran) to a refugee camp in Baquba (Iraq). I'm not familiar with all of the jobs he held in his lifetime, but I know that one of the positions he was proudest of was his role as principal at an Assyrian school in Kirkuk. Many Assyrians who grew up in Kirkuk still refer to him as Rabi Shuma (Teacher Samuel), even after all these years.

A quick Google search led to this awesome photo find:
Assyrian School Kirkuk Committee Members. 
He's the one kneeling in the lower left-hand corner with the unibrow and goofy smile! :)

But to me, he'll always be Baba Shuma. :)

I realize this is a food blog and I haven't posted a recipe about food today, but hey, thanks for listening. One funny food related tidbit about Baba Shuma is that he wrote a song about a traditional Assyrian soup. Yes! A song about soup. He sure did love his bushala.

And I was going to share a middle eastern cardamom butter cookie recipe with you all today, since this is a food blog, but even after making it at least 5 times so far in the past few months (and once more today) I'm still not happy with the result. It has only 5 ingredients, but I just can't get it to be perfect. So tomorrow, I'm doing a major experiment in cookie making and WILL master this damn recipe. Stay tuned... 


Mara said...

Oh Jackie, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather... it's never easy to lose a loved one :(
On another note, let's get together when you're all moved back and we'll call it a "blogger meet up" :)

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