Posts Tagged "honey"

Considering Housewarming Gifts

Dear Kid,

As I believe I mentioned, the fabulous Girlfriendology is moving to a new home (one substantially closer to me—so yay!). I therefore started thinking about housewarming presents. I had this same problem the last time she moved (here’s the link in case you don’t remember). Finding the right gift hasn’t gotten any easier…

Coffee first. Then we can solve the world's problems. DearKidLoveMom.comFirst I thought of the obvious: coffee with me! But since she is (did I mention?) moving closer, I’m pretty sure that’s going to happen sooner or later.

So I consulted My Friend the Internet for thoughts on more traditional housewarming gifts.

“Candles…so your house will always have light.” Girlfriendology has more candles in her house than a menorah farm (no, I’ve never seen a menorah farm, but I have an active imagination); it would be like bringing coals to Newcastle.

Warning: Knowledge Alert!

“Carrying coals to Newcastle” is a thing. More to the point it is a cliché. Newcastle upon Tyne (I do love how the British name their towns) in northeast England was a huge coal mining town. The idea of taking coal there would have to be something created by the Department of Redundancy Department Department. Totally unnecessary and pointless. Like taking chocolate to Hershey, PA only with more emphasis on pollution and less on calories.

“Salt…to add to the flavor of life.” Salt. Salt? Seriously? Have you read a health article recently?

“Bread…so that this house may never know hunger.” Carbs. Yeah. Right. Brilliant.

Sugar…so your life may always have sweetness.” Quite possibly only the most addictive substance on the planet and you want me to give it to a friend? Next idea.

“Honey…” Same symbology as sugar. Same chemical issue. Better packaging.

“Broom…to sweep away any evil.” The thought of me giving anyone a cleaning implement made me double over laughing.

“Wine…so you will always be of good cheer.” Two Buck Chuck doesn’t sound like a great gift idea. And Girlfriendology knows far more about wine than I do.

Coffee with me it is!

Love, Mom

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Dinner, Baklava, and a Bit of Honey

Baklava--the world quickest way to sugar shockDear Kid,

Last night Dad and I walked over to Durum Grill to hunt and gather our dinner. (Pi was at a party so it was just the two of us.) As we were paying for dinner, Daddy noticed the pans of yumminess on the counter.

“Remind me what that is,” said the Papa.

“Baklava.” I told him.

“No, that’s not baklava,” says the Mistaken One.

“That,” I said pointing to one of the two trays, “is baklava. That one” I said pointing to the other “I’m not so sure about.”

“Baklava.” said the Durum Grill dude.

“Both of them?”

“Yes, yes. The difference is the amount of sweetness. There are 100 kinds of baklava in the world. I know recipes for 20.” The pride was clear.

On the walk home, Daddy said, “Those looked like pastries; I thought baklava was more of a dessert.” Don’t ask me to interpret that sentence. I bleeped over it and suggest you do the same. Then he asked me what is in baklava.

“Honey, nuts, more honey, additional honey, and probably some more honey.”

Having never made baklava, I decided to investigate this notion of “100 kinds of baklava.”

My good friend, the internet, assures me that there are many, many different types of baklava. I flipped through a few and will now share with you my new baklava expertise. Are you a lucky kid or what?

The basic baklava recipe goes something like this.

Basic Concept of Baklava Recipes

Go out and buy ingredients. Especially if you’re choosing a recipe that has ingredients you have never used before and are unlikely to use again (like the Alton Brown recipe I found that calls for a teaspoon of Rose Water. I love you Alton, but really?).

Melt about 6 pounds of butter. Realize you didn’t thaw the phyllo dough and have to wait until tomorrow for your baklava project.


Melt about 6 pounds of butter. Butter your baklava pan. (What? You don’t have a baklava pan? Use something else. But butter it.)

Place many layers of phyllo dough brushed with butter in the pan alternating phyllo, butter, phyllo, butter, less filling, tastes great. For fun, add a few more layers. Add a layer of chopped nuts and cinnamon. Repeat. Lots o’ layers. Lots and lots of butter.

Cut into the baklava shape of the day (diamond, square, triangle, whatev). Bake until toasty.

Meanwhile, make a syrup of honey, sugar, a little spice (like cardamom or allspice or lemon or whatever), add some more honey, decide a little honey couldn’t hurt. Cook this mixture until the sweetness takes over the entire planet.

Take the baklava out of the oven and smother with the honey syrup. (You might want to add a dash more honey.) Let sit overnight so the whole thing becomes a yummy pot of sticky honey-ness.

Take one bite. Go into sugar shock.

Eat more.

I may have gone into sugar shock just writing this….

We ate on the porch with Booker hoping some of our food would fall to the floor. It didn’t, and our baklava-less dinner was delicious.

Hope you have a delicious day, with or without baklava.

Love, Mom

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