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Spring Break Day 6: In Preparation of Greek Easter

March 24, 2010

I am extremely proud to call myself Greek. I am even more proud to be Spartan. No joke, I’m 1/8 Spartan — but that is a different story altogether.

Being Greek means a lot of things. It means having the obligatory bat-shit crazy grandmother. It means having extremely oily skin. It means having family members that shove food down your throat even when it becomes unhealthy and, quite honestly, uncomfortable.

But most importantly, it means hosting a celebration called Greek Easter every year. At this celebration, the Greeks gather friends and family at their home, serve delicious food (on which I will go into detail later), tell stories and indulge in the warm sensation that is friendship. Today, I’m not going to talk about all the warm, fuzzy stuff that comes along with Greek Easter. I’m going to talk about the food, because, today, I made a lot of food. Well, I made a lot of one kind of food in particular. I made baklava.

What is baklava, do you ask? Well, just think about every single fattening thing the good Lord has ever placed on this decreasingly green earth, then put it all into a bowl, toss it in an oven, throw even more cellulite-producing things on it, and then there you have it. It’s baklava. And it’s divine. And we serve it at Greek Easter.

To make the baklava, one must have copious amounts of perseverance, restraint, and butter. Lots and lots of butter. You start off by blending walnuts, pecans and, of course, sugar, in a bowl. You gotta get a LOT of sugar. You set that aside, then melt about 5,000 tons of butter — all of which you will use throughout the cooking experience. You butter a pan, lay 8 layers of filo dough (a thin, thin, THIN slice of bread) inside that pan, and you butter EACH layer as you put it in. Then, after each block of filo, you pour in the nuts — and sugar. Once you’ve made about 5 layers, you dump the rest of the butter you’ve got on top, then throw it in the oven for a bit. When you take it out, just in case you felt like there wasn’t enough sweetness there, you pour a shit-ton of syrup on top. And there you have it. It’s glorious. It’s fattening. It’s baklava. And it’s basically love at first sight.

Today, I spent about 1 hour making it, and three hours cleaning up after it, but I gotta tell you, it was all worth it. Baklava is the kind of dessert that is so good, the taste stays with you for hours after you eat it, and the actual baklava stays with you even longer on your hips. But it’s okay, you know? Because, hell, you had a great time eating it. It’s all worth it. It really is.

Tomorrow, we’re making trigona, which is ten times harder to make, but just as fattening. Stay posted.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 24, 2010 5:45 pm

    Life is better with lot of butter…and sugar.

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