Thursday, December 11, 2014

homemade heaven

Evelyn, who works in the room next to me on Mondays, is a baker. i watch her Facebook posts (well, i DID before their new algorithm took over my news feed) enjoying pictures of her creations. last week her posts about making baklava for the first time with her Lebanese mother fascinated me.

i've never worked with phyllo dough, but i know from watching others that it can be maddening. paper-thin sheets of dough kept damp, as you layer and layer and layer. making yeast rolls seems like making instant pudding by comparison.

but Evelyn, who shares a connection to my home town that we didn't discover until about a year after she began working with us, does not take shortcuts. she documented her time, working with the phlyllo, measuring the squares of baklava with a yard stick so that each piece was a perfect parallelogram. assembling the baklava took two hours, she said, and her mother had already made the filling.

so when Evelyn presented me with my own piece of her handmade baklava, i felt honored. i treasured it, examining the layers and marveling at the masterpiece this small piece of dessert was. i'm not a dessert eater, so i tried to take a sliver, to save most of it for my husband, but my efforts destroyed her work, so i guiltily ate it all

later, Evelyn brought me half of a slice to share with my husband, and i wrapped it up in the Christmas napkins she provided, excited to share this Christmas surprise.

another gift of Christmas, and we have 14 days yet to go.

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