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!  
Just beginning to butter the layers.
Just going into the oven.
30 minutes later!
Yummy Baklava with a cup of champagne raspberry tea.

Thanks for letting me share one of my family traditions with you today.  I wish you all a wonderful day!


  1. Oh my gosh that looks good! Can we have Baklava next week when I visit? Pleeeeeeeeeease???? hehehe.....




  3. Several things here. I'm not sure what happened. I thought I was a follower of your blog, but I wasn't, so I've re-added myself just now. I think I messed up a couple weeks ago. I was managing blogs I follow, removing myself from some I hadn't been reading, and since there are so many with the word "rose" or "roses" in them, I think I deleted the wrong one. That's the only thing it can be, because I've been here several times. (I remember your little dog had a birthday recently) Anyhow, I'm back.

    I am big into family traditions as well. I have worked hard to build lasting traditions with my husband and children.

    I love baklava, but since it's SO rich, I can only eat it in small amounts, which is certainly better than gorging on six cookies at a time, right? I've never made it myself, but my sister-in-law makes it every Christmas...and has since even before I came into the family 25 years ago. It's just something we all expect.

    I love your kitchen canisters. So feminine and lovely!!

    Finally, how wonderful that your sons are law enforcement officers. My son, age 18, aspires to be a police officer. He would ultimately like to be on the SWAT team. I think law enforcement is a very high calling.

    Have a lovely day,

  4. Hi Denise, that looks yummy..love Baklava but like Patti said, small amounts since so rich..i thought I had posted in your pink Saturday post but I don't see my post so maybe I didn't unless it needs to be moderated. I was telling you that my son lives not far from you, and we also used to live nearby..I miss that area desperately at times and also my son and his wife.
    Have a great day!