I swear at least ten of my extra pounds comes from Borek and baklava.

I like giving the ladies rides. I don't mind visiting...but they practically stand over me as they feed me and shove cups of really scary coffee into my hands. The message must have gone out: Kate likes this stuff. They make plates of it for me and insist on forcing it into me while they're watching (Fatima literally pushes the fork at me over and over) And then they give me a package to take home.

It would feel like I had a bunch of mommas but we're all about the same age, the ladies and I. Plus my mother couldn't boil water. The woman could put together a mean questionaire though. And she once wrote a book about my aunt's psychiatric half-way house. Oh, I got a great note about my parents. I'm off to find it.


  1. Meat borek? Or cheese borek?

    My grandmother used to keep cheese borek in her freezer--I remember standing in front of the open door (Bad Suisan) just counting the trays and dreaming of a celebration which would warrant a defrosting/baking.

  2. Have to look up borek now. Sounds like the name of a guy who once dated my sister.

    Baklava -- I make a mean baklava. I prefer almonds to walnuts, or better still, a mixture of almonds, walnuts, and pecans.

  3. baklava--almonds, pistachios and rosewater in the honey. Yumm. (Have you ever had Lebanese Baklava with a sweet custard baked on the top layer and then drenched in warm rosewaer syrup before serving? Different, but also good.) Don't care for either walnuts or pecans in baklava. But if it's a choice of none or some with walnuts, I'll still choose the walnuts.

    Borek--triangles of philo filled with mild-flavored melting and crumbly cheese. Or also filled with Dill-flavored ground meat. Baked in the oven until warm. MMMmmmmm.

  4. huh. the borek I've seen isn't a triangle--it's a tube .

    I love watching the ladies make the dough for it. They put a table cloth on a big table, plop down a blob of dough and then, using their fingers, spread the dough so thin, it covers the whole table and you can read a through it.

    Today I got meat pushed at me. Usually it's cheese or cheese and spinach.

    They make it just about every day!

  5. ummmm...and then there's pita? pitak? kind of like borek only a different shape and sometimes has apples.

  6. Oh good lord, woman. You are Keeeelling me! I haven't had Pitak since I was, what, 4 years old?

    My grandfather's sister and her daughter. made dough the same way. She spoke no English, but she used to have me come over the "read" the paper through the dough.

    These ladies were Armenian. I'm not sure how Bosnian food and Armenian food and Bosnian food are related, except that you seem to be bringing up a lot of the same dishes. (With the same names? How is that POSSIBLE?) I think it's a function of peasant creativity: "We have flour, water, cheese, herbs, and an oven. We make Pastry."

    My husband and I talk about Jewish food the same way--chicken fat + a potato + an egg + an onion = dinner.


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