Title: Spoonful Chronicles
Author: Elen Ghulam
Genre: Women’s Fiction
To make sense of the unlikely events that have brought her to this place, Thaniya turns to food, curating memorable eating experiences of her life, searching for clues. Between her childhood aversion to cucumbers, her search for an authentic Iraqi kubeh in the city of Jerusalem, her 10-year tomato wars with her husband Samih, a mood altering encounter with a blood pudding in Edinburgh, and a Kafkaesque nightmare involving a cauliflower, Thaniya unravels repeated patterns occurring in her life. The secrets of love, friendship and destiny hidden in her cauldron of mishmashed cultures begin to reveal themselves.
Just yesterday a patient shrieked with delight when I entered her room: “Oh My God! I can’t believe it. Hummus lady!”
I was taken aback. “Excuse me?”
“You are hummus lady, in the video. You saved my marriage.” The skinny young woman looked at me with awe as if I was a deity of some sort. This understuffed scarecrow told me that she had married an Egyptian. They had been fighting for months. Finally, he told her it was over and walked away. She accidentally found my video on YouTube and decided that instead of eating a tub of ice-cream, she would make a tub of hummus. When her husband came home to pick up his things, he encountered the plate of hummus. One taste led to another. His wife found him licking the plate clean. She sat down at the table without a word. Her husband began to cry. “This tastes exactly like the hummus I used get in the public market of Alexandria,” he told her. They talked things over. Cried together. And decided to fight to stay together. Experts might tell you that a marriage should be based on respect and shared values. But if you listen to Thaniya Rasid, you would forgo all that and entrust your life partnership to a flatulence-inducing legume. I suppose marriages have been based on shakier ground. This must be the mushiest. “Why don’t you make more videos?” asked the woman.
I shrugged. “I’m not sure cooking is my forte.”
“Oh it is, it is, there is magic in these hands!” She grabbed both my hands as if rubbing invisible lotion into her own hands.
I wanted to tell her: “Leave your husband, he’s an asshole.” But instead, I grabbed her chart and focused on the medical task at hand.
I was a perfectly happy computer programmer doing the nerdy stuff that computer programmers do. You know! Geeky stuff. Like the normal stuff that an Iraqi-Canadian would do if they worked as a computer programmer. When one day, out of nowhere, the inspiration to write hit me over the head. It came at me fast and furious and turned my life topsy turvy.
I was always an avid reader. Ok I was a bookish geek. But the idea that I would try to write never even occurred to me, until the violent incident with the muse.
Since then I have published a memoir called “Don’t Shoot! … I Have Another Story to Tell You“. Which Was followed by a novel called Graffiti Hack. That one tells the story of a hacker who installs lavish graphical designs on commercial websites. Imagine the trouble she gets in? Well I had to. I was writing the story, so I had to imagine every last bit.
A third novel is on it way. I don’t know where all these ideas come from, they just pop in my head and I write them down. In addition to writing,
I am a flamenco dancer, I enjoy painting and I love to cook. Somehow all these activities inspire each other.
I am a married mother of three, living in a pink house in Vancouver BC
Really I just love telling stories and I love listening to stories.