Tag Archives: Paris

Baklava

By Mary

A few weeks ago I was immersed in a fantastic book that focused on 80 countries of the world . The book blended anthropology and nutritional information together to illustrate global differences in various cultures, many of which stem from the world’s food supply. Somewhere in the book, I came across a profile on Greece and saw a photo of baklava.

A friend once clued me in on a  Middle Eastern Bakery here in Lacrosse that sells Baklava. For roughly a year now, I have been planning to stop by and purchase some of it and a cup of coffee. Of course my book induced cravings sent me there the other week. Stopping by the store taught me that there are natural punishments for procrastinations. The store had went out of business. No baklava for me! You can probably still see the smear marks in the stores window which I peered into while throwing a pity party. 

The first time I ever tasted the sweet flakey goodness of baklava, I was in Paris at a Mosque with my friends Havilah and her husband JB, and their infant son.

 Now I associate baklava with being in the Mosque’s restaurant where everything seemed so special in such an intriguing foreign way.

The tiles and the textures of the environment were simply amazing.

And the bakery case with its many choices was tantalizing….

Perhaps, I liked the beauty of the restaurant better than the baking though. It was magical to eat while watching birds fly in and out from a hole in the roof. The grand colors of the place were mesmerizing.

 To date, I have still not given up on procuring the pastry. I bought some filo pastry sheets while in town today from the coop, and want to use a recipe from a musty Greek cookbook that was published (and probably not opened since) in the 70’s. I intend to take the time to make it this weekend. Hopefully it turns out well! No recipe, however, can duplicate the special sweetness that I experienced the first time I enjoyed tasting it.

Writer’s Block Conquered and Wishful Thinking

Before a few days ago, I had written startlingly little poetry this summer. The heat must have made me slow to put pen to paper, but I finally came up with something that I didn’t detest the look of one the page. It’s not that I haven’t had thoughts or ideas to write on, it’s just that I’d yet to lug out my poetry book from the recesses of my bedside table. Dog days of summer indeed.

But, I’m over that month of writer’s block. And here is the result:

Dreaming Traveler

Postcards and maps on the wall-

Places that she longs to go.

She sleeps beneath ancient Rome,

surrounded by the streets of Paris, inked in pale blues and pink.

Barcelona, Firenze, Greece, Ukraine,

places to go crowd her brain.

The world is so big, she so small

Maps gaze upon her sleeping face, beckoning from her wall.

“Come see the world.”

It’s true; maps do line my walls. I’ve acquired them from friends, family, and even ripped them out of textbbooks in the case of the map of ancient Rome.

First off, there is one of my beloved maps of Paris, the place that I want most to go.  Although, I’ve recently given up on my dream of living there.  I just finished a book called, “The Sweet Life in Paris” by David Lebovitz in which Parisiens were portrayed as a bit….self-involved.  I would much rather live in the French countryside.

This postcard was sent to me by my friend, Jubilee, as she was traveling Europe in May, and is one of my favorites.

But, with a name as Irish as Colleen Slattery, I cannot and will not ever abandon my Irish roots.  After France, Ireland is my top choice for traveling abroad.

Although France and Ireland are my dream places to go, Italy is the one country in Europe that I have the most chance to go.  The University of Dallas (the college I will be attending this fall) includes a semester abroad on their campus 10 miles outside of Rome during the sophomore year.  So, perhaps one of my traveling dreams will come true.

I will travel the world some day.  And you can bet that I’ll take all of you along with me, through verse and photography (even if Clare has all the talent when it comes to pictures!)