Nadiya Hussain details time she baked a cake for the Queen
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Nadiya Hussain, 37, has become a world-renowned chef after winning The Great British Bake Off in 2015 and has since embarked on a successful culinary career. Nonetheless, the mum-of-three still endeavours to spend quality time with her family and accidentally started a tradition of cleaning their feet on a Sunday night.
Sunday night in the Hussain household means sitting down in front of the TV and washing each other’s feet.
The Bake Off winner explained in a podcast that she started doing it years ago as she enjoyed pampering her family’s toes and it has since become somewhat of a tradition.
Nadiya shared: “Every Sunday I sit down with a bucket of hot water and they watch telly and we chat and I clean.
“I get to touch a piece of their body that isn’t in any way invasive, it’s just their feet.”
It’s not a simple event either, as the chef takes great care in this activity and gives her family salon-quality treatment: “I moisturise and I exfoliate, and I file them down.”
Her three children, Musa, 16, Dawud, 15 and Maryam, 12, don’t enjoy physical touch but this simple act brings the family closer, adding: “It’s a big part of my staying close to them.
“As much as they hate physical touch sometimes, doing that with them really makes us feel closer — to the point where they’re, ‘Mum can we do your feet for you, because you always do our feet’.”
Despite her fixation on caring for the toes of her children, Nadiya doesn’t enjoy her own feet being touched, but allows her family to do it anyway “because they want to connect with me”.
Since she won Bake Off, Nadiya has become an author, presenter and has traveled across the world to bring a vast array of cuisine to British television.
None of this would have been possible without her husband Abdal, who put his wife forward for Bake Off without her knowing.
In a conversation earlier this year with The Guardian, the Luton-born cook explained: “Motherhood is a bizarre thing. It gives a lot but it takes so much from you, too.
“It’s why my husband submitted my application to Bake Off without me knowing: I had become so reliant on the comfort of my family and stopped doing things for myself.”
Nadiya had developed a love of cooking in high school and although her dad was a chef at an Indian restaurant, she mostly taught herself to cook through recipe books and YouTube videos.
After finishing school she got married to Abdal in 2005 and moved to Leeds where she started studying for a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies through Open University.
The budding chef became so family-orientated that her trip to the Bake Off auditions was the first time she had been on a train and taken a taxi alone.
Unfortunately, the chef unfortunately got lost and arrived five hours late but “still got there!”.
Since winning Bake Off, Nadiya’s work often takes her far from home for long periods of time and her small family traditions have now become even more important.
After a long time away, Nadiya and her daughter Maryam have “pamper days”, involving baths, nails and hair treatments.
Surprisingly, one thing Nadiya and her children rarely do together is cook.
She noted that her daughter specifically is “stubborn like her mother” and the independent youngster “likes to do her own thing”.
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