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Sunday, December 22, 2013

9th life.

Long story.
sorta.

Enter two Mondays ago: Macy's 4th grade class has library time, with their amazing librarian (me).
We decide to focus on celebrations and holidays from around the world.
Super fun.
Macy and I decide to share some traditions from our family.
Funner.
We choose Lebanon.
And Baklawa (bit-LAY-wee).
Lebanese baklava.
So delicious.
So much work.

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Enter 12-13 year ago:  My great great (however that goes) Aunt Hunini visited from New York.
(She's my Sito's {grandma's} cousin.)
She knows how to make lots of authentic Lebanese food.
I've learned how to make some food from my Sito, but Hunini was able to teach us more.
Specifically, Baklawa.

I made a few times that year, even taught my 3rd grade class how to make it one year.
Have made it a handful of times since Macy's birth, but not in the last 2-3 years.
Why?
Because it takes a long time.

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Enter Wednesday:  I decide to make the Baklawa so that it has a few days to sit and absorb all the deliciousness of the syrup before Macy's class party and presentation on Friday.  Macy and I gather
all the ingredients, make all the simple syrup, lay out each piece of phyllo dough and butter between each layer together (which takes twice as long as me just doing it by myself.)
It's beautiful.
Better than beautiful because now it's a special memory of me making this with Macy.
It's happiness and joy and all the gorgeous layers of life represented in one painstakingly lovely
syrupy sweet pan.
Sappy.
Did you really expect anything less from me?


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Enter Thursday:  It's been a long day. Appointments after school, I have a gross cold, losing my voice, tired tired tired from the long week, still have dinner to make, and Zachary's Christmas Program is that night at 7pm at school.  We have lots to do.
Tired, moody, exhausted....I walk into my front door to start the next period of our evening and
totally lose my sh**.
Shrieks.
Screams. (sorta....remember I lost my voice?)
Tears.

This is what my gorgeous pan of Baklawa looks like:



Why?
WHYYYYY????
This is why:
This little expletive snuck into the house that morning (KitKat is NOT an inside cat) while we were leaving apparently and feasted on an entire corner.
She was LITERALLY standing on the pan noshing when I walked in.
Pretty sure this cat is on her 9th life right now.

Teary, I tried to reorganize my evening.
No sugar.
Had to run down to Java Time and steal some sugar from my mom.
Made the syrup before we left for Zach's program.
Came home.
Wrong dough.
Sent Steve at 9:00 at night to the store to get new phyllo dough.
Rapid defrosted the dough near the fireplace by turning every two minutes.
Groggily made an entirely new pan so Macy had something to share on Friday
with her classmates.
Pretty sure I love her.
Also sure that I'm stubborn and was not going to let this situation get the better of me.


So at 11:41pm, I pulled the 2nd pan out of the oven.
And there was a choir of angels singing.
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Enter Friday:  Macy's classmates and my co-workers enjoyed the fruits of my labor and I was so delighted to share with everyone. Macy and I shared with the class, and learned a lot about her classmates and their traditions.  Such a fun experience!!
And then you think the story ends here...right?
Wrong.

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Enter Friday night:  We are at dinner with some of Steve's co-workers and wives when my darling dear husband throws me under the bus by telling his co-workers how I offered the "Cat Pan" to him to take to work.  Ugh.  There was a teeny-tiny bit of truth there, but it wasn't like I would have reallllly let him take the cat-eaten-pan to work! Seriously. Mortified.


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Enter Friday night trying to sleep: Who feels like a total jack-you-know the rest?!..... ME!!!!
So plot to reconfigure my weekend to include make a third pan of Baklawa to share with his co-workers (and some for my family Christmas too) ensues.


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Enter Sunday (today): While still in my pajamas, still mostly voiceless, while football plays on the television and I rock out to Christmas music....I make a third, equally stunning pan.


And this shall be forever known as the Christmas of the Baklawa.






i am and my favorite part is taste testing right out of the oven. superb.