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March 1, 2021

This morning I woke up incredibly thankful for my life. I woke up excited to connect with you, my Baklava of the Month Club peeps. Excited to bake another flavor for you, and excited to write this entry. Now I don’t have a particular story about my Southern Pecan recipe, so I thought I’d just write about how baking and my business makes me feel.

Right now I’m listening to my favorite music while I enjoy my cup of coffee, popping shipping boxes, and contemplating the day ahead. I’ll bake lots of trays of baklava and then I’ll package them tomorrow, deliver to those who live locally, and mail packages to those who live afar. Did I mention I’m excited?!

I don’t know what it is about baking and cooking, but it makes me so happy. I think it has to do with enjoying the pleasure of making something with my hands that you then get to delight in with all of your senses. You taste and smell the flavors, see how pretty it is packaged, feel the textures in your mouth, and you hear the crunch of the fillo as you bite into all 45 flaky layers. I love taking simple ingredients and transforming them into masterpieces that I get to develop! Cooking and baking are both forms of art—edible art that doesn’t last but for a few days at the most and that you get to nourish your body with.

Then, I get to earn a living doing what I love. I get to be imaginative in my business. I get to explore and create new recipes, as I’m inspired. I get to interact with you, my customers/friends/family, in a common experience. Not many people get to do this and for that I’m so very grateful! I hope you enjoy this month’s installment of baklava.

Here’s one little tidbit about this month’s flavor: I invented it because I wanted more variety in my offerings. While I learned to make baklava with walnuts (the traditional Greek way), I do realize that baklava is made with a variety of nuts depending on where the recipe originates. Pistachios are the nuts of choice in Turkish baklava, for example. Some regions of Greece mix different nuts in their recipes. Baklava is a cultural staple in many countries in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Eastern Europe. The nuts and spices utilized vary in all of these locations. I grew up in the south, North Carolina to be exact. My mother indulged us every fall with the most delicious pecan pies. It only made sense for me to have a southern pecan flavored baklava for you to experience.

In honor of my gratitude to you and the universe for allowing me to serve you, I thought I’d also include another little surprise in your box this month—a little sack of my homemade granola! Today is a cloudy, gloomy, and snowy day outside, perfect for baking; so I’m going to make a long day of it and adorn my home with the aroma of some yummy granola along with the earthy scent of pecans. Share with me in this blessing! I hope you like it as much as I do. I like to eat mine in the morning as cereal with a splash of milk or with a dollop of my favorite plain Greek yogurt. Be careful, though, because it’s addicting. If you don’t watch out you’ll turn into a “granola monster” like me…think Cookie Monster but with granola…Ha!

Until next month! With all the love in my heart!

Baklava Rita