i have this incredible urge to make baklava. it has nothing to do with the desert and everything to do with the first time i had baklava.
growing up, my parents home schooled myself and my siblings and one of the requirements of the program my parents followed was that each year each of us delivered a 10 page minimum report on a country of our choice. we had to present the report as a speech to a group of non-relatives and at the end of the report, we would serve traditional or historic dishes from each country. the year that stands out in my memory was egypt - probably because it was the first year i clearly remember both the report i delivered and the food we made for the guests. my traditional/historic desert that year was baklava.
all of the guests we would invite were family friends (mostly from church) and thinking back, most of those friends have now passed away. a long time family friend, L, passed away last week and today is the funeral. all i can think of are all the country reports she attended and all of the time she invested in each of us kids. i don't know if she was there for the egypt year and baklava, but since baklava is all i seem to be able to think about this morning, my mind at least associates her with those moments.
i really shouldn't be sad - those were some of the best times i can remember from childhood. it was always a celebration and a kick-off to summer break. but as exciting as it was for me and my siblings, it couldn't have been too interesting for L. who wants to listen to a 10-year-old's report on egypt? who wants to eat bastardized baklava? maybe no one, but she did anyway. and it meant and means the world to me.