Sunday, November 18, 2007

Baklava (Page 797)

  • Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty, Brad, Deniz, Dave, and Karen H
  • Recipe Rating: A-

Matty loves baklava. I have been meaning to make this recipe for him for a long time now, and I finally got around to it! I admit, I am not usually a huge baklava person. I generally like baklava for about a bite or two, and then I am done with it. This baklava was awesome though! It had a nice honey sweetness, which was balanced just a touch by the lemon juice added to the syrup. Thankfully the syrup didn't have rose water in it (as these syrups sometimes do -- and which I find completely repulsive). The buttery layers of phyllo and the walnuts were both delicious after being doused in the sweet syrup. The top layers of phyllo kept a nice crispness to them, while the interior layers deliciously absorbed the honey syrup. My only complaint is that I would have preferred it without the whole cloves that were stuck into each piece. I can only imagine that they are meant to be decorative (and slightly functional, holding the top few layers together?), but if you happen to bite into one (as I did, accidentally) it is a very overwhelming experience that I wouldn't care to repeat. I don't generally like to garnish with things that shouldn't be eaten, and on that principle when I make this again, I will leave off the cloves. Aside from that minor detail, this recipe is lovely! Baklava is a bit of a pain to make, but with this recipe, it is certainly worth it!

Sadly, this recipe isn't online.

Matty arrived Friday, and we had lovely day yesterday. We went hiking near Griffy Lake. We were a little disappointed to find that all the trails were pretty short. We hiked the longest one (1.6 miles) and then set off on one of the short ones (.5 miles). We are pretty decent at hiking, but we aren't so good at paying attention to trail markers. We must have wandered off the trail somewhere, and soon our .5 mile hike turned into quite a long adventure. Eventually we wandered onto some private property, and decided to turn back. We found our way back to the lake without incident. It was nice to get a bit lost -- we had been looking for a longer hike anyway, and in the end, we got one!

After hiking we cooked dinner. It's funny how much you appreciate the small things after living apart from someone that you care about. Being able to cook dinner together and eat at the same table has become such a luxury! After dinner we went to the opera. IU has a very good music school, and an extremely impressive opera. You don't expect to move to Bloomington, IN and find good opera productions, but sometimes life surprises you! We saw La Boheme last night, and quite enjoyed it.

Today was not so enjoyable. I finished grading my students' exams on Friday, but I hadn't yet entered them into the gradebook. Going through them today, I realized how badly they had done. I guess the exam was too hard! I will obviously curve it generously, but I still feel bad for them. I am sure it was a discouraging experience.

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