Just beginning to butter the layers.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Keeping Some of My Family Traditions!
I was blessed to have come from a family of wonderful cooks and bakers. My grandmother, my mother and my aunts were the best! If any of you have seen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding then you have an idea how I grew up. If you change it to Armenian instead of Greek that was my family. We have a lot of the same traditions and everyone always wants to feed you! You don't dare say you aren't hungry! LOL I remember when we visited my grandmother in Fresno she would get up at 4am and start making dough. Everything was always made from scratch. She used to make Armenian pastries for some local restaurants. Anytime you went to a Armenian family function certain traditional foods were always served. One of the most popular desserts was Baklava. In Armenian it is spelled Paklava. It is exactly the same dessert despite the difference in the spelling. I refer to it as Baklava since that is what most people are familiar with. As I'm sure some of you can relate when you get older some of the family traditions you grew up with start to fade. I would like to share with my grandkids the wonderful things I had when I was growing up so a couple of years ago I decided to try making Baklava. Of course I didn't make my own phyllo dough like my grandmother did. After working with it for the first time I just don't know how she could roll out dough so thin. My Aunty Alyce told me she used to separate it for her. Even that is a BIG job! The first thing I discovered about phyllo dough is it is NOT forgiving at all! Boy if it starts to dry it crumbles like you wouldn't believe. When you start making it you don't want any distractions like the phone or kids or anything like that. Once you start you have to work fast. Yesterday I taught a friend how to make it. Since I have only made it for a couple of years I am not an expert by all means. The more you make it though you learn certain tricks that really help. I was glad I could pass those on to Amber yesterday. We had a great time and our finished Baklava looked and tasted pretty yummy!