Saturday, February 14, 2009
Today is a special day for my son who is serving in the Army and stationed in Iraq. It is his sons first Valentine's Day and to celebrate this day, 6 dozen iced heart shaped cookies were sent to him as well as a loaf of Bayou Banana Bread. XXOOXXOO.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I have eaten a lot of baklava and have found this recipe to produce the finest quality pastry yet. This baklava recipe Makes 2 dozen pieces. The recipe has 2 parts. The first is for the baklava and the 2nd is for the syrup that goes on the baklava when it comes out of the oven.
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
1/2 cup finely chopped, blanched almonds, toasted
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 lb. butter melted
1 pkg. filo pastry sheets
Combine nuts, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Brush a 13x9x2 baking pan well with butter. Separate 25 filo pastry sheets from package. Place under a smooth (not terrycloth), damp towel so filo does not dry out. Wrap remaining filo well and freeze for future use. Place one filo sheet in pan. Trim to fit. Brush generously with melted butter. Repeat procedure until there are 5 layers of buttered filo in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of nut mixture over buttered filo sheets. Butter and layer 5 more filo sheets. Sprinkle with 1/4 of nut mixture. Repeat this procedure two more times, ending with the top of the pastry consisting of 5 sheets of filo. Drizzle and remaining butter over the top. Bake in 300 degree F oven for 1-1/2 hours or until golden brown. Remove baklava from oven. Using a sharp knife, immediately cut long, diagonal lines from corner to corner, forming an "x". Follow these guidelines to cut baklava into serving sized diamonds. While still hot, pour cooled syrup over baklava.
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups water
finely grated rind of 1 orange
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup honey
Combine sugar, water, orange and lemon rinds, cloves and cinnamon stick in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes to thicken syrup slightly. Remove from heat. Discard spices. Stir in honey. Cool at room temperature. Pour over hot baklava. Allow to stand overnight before serving.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Time went on since that last puff. Now in Junior High School I was looking for cool things to do, say and wear in order to fit in. I remember the cool most popular guys had side burns, wore penny loafers with Adler socks, tight fitting navy bell bottom jeans, wore some cologne and smoked. I thought I would be cool to so I did all of those things except wearing the side burns, I did not have a whisker on my face. The pack of those old pall mall cigarettes got smoked and now I was into the Marlboro's. I gained an appreciation for Dante and Jade East cologne, I thought I would camouflage the smell of the smoke. At that time you could go into any bowling alley or restaurant and buy a pack of smokes out of the machine for .35 cents. You just waited until no one was around, dropped your coins, grabbed the smokes and ran like hell. We used to go in the back of Bonneville Junior High School between classes and during lunch and have a smoke. One day a friend of mine and I were having a smoke and the Vice Principal came around the corner and caught us. I sat in his office while he called my mother and let her know what I had done. Two weeks later a letter from the Utah State Juvenile Court showed up in the mail box addressed to my mother. It was a smoking ticket. She shared it with me which resulted in me having to pay the court $15.00. Needless to say, I continued to smoke.
My last year of Junior High I became friends with a guy named Ken. He played the organ and had all the nice amplifiers and microphone's needed for a band. I played the drums and had a nice Ludwig black pearl drum set that my parents bought for me. Ken and I hooked up and practiced together mostly at his house. It was nice to go to Ken,s house because his mother worked so we smoked in side the house. We latter joined a rock and roll band with two other guys that were much older that went to Skyline High School. One played the bass guitar and the other the lead guitar. We were all cool guys jamming and smoking. We even got so good that we were playing at LDS church dances and making $20.00 each. Latter on the group broke up and we all went our own directions but I continued to smoke and was now addicted to cigarettes. Continued.