Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Exp-hair-iment: Days 9 and 10 (plus baklava!)

Ha! I'm going to start with the baklava.

First off, in case you thought I was, I am not Greek and this isn't some old family recipe. In face, this was the first time I ever made baklava though I am proficient at eating it.

When I was going to school in Boston, I lived in a heavily Greek-influenced neighborhood. Yes, blocks away from Fenway Pahk is actually not saturated with Irish. Though I did get asked if I was Irish by some tourists on a game day once ... I think if I'd said yes they'd have taken their picture with me.

I digress. While living in this neighborhood I fell in love with Greek food. Including this light-but-heavy manna-meets-milk-and-honey Mediterranean decadence; baklava. Seriously ... phyllo pastry flakes are now what I picture the freed Jews picking up from the dessert floor every morning for forty years. Add butter, nuts, honey, and a little cinnamon (y'all already know I like cinnamon enough to dump it on my head and not wash it out for half a week) ... heaven. Though if we were in heaven I wouldn't have to worry about it making my waistband tight.

It is a bit of work to make, but it can be done in steps (read: you can stop and occupy toddlers, feed babies, scold, make macaroni and cheese, and change fifteen diapers). Or even blog, see how I did that? I just finished up the second batch.

Making the seemingly endless layers of phyllo, butter, and nuts was soothing because the phyllo dough feels like Bible pages or the vellum of a wedding invitation as it whispers between my fingers. Feelings like that take me to my happy place and set my task to a pleasant rhythm rather than the drudgery of a chore.

For the nuts I used pecans from my parents' trees. They're a bit old but they've been in the freezer. I roasted them at 350 for about 7 minutes to perk them up, and to make the last of that bitter red stuff flake out of the cracks it had hidden in. I did NOT painstakingly chop a pound of pecans. I put my Vitamix to use and made it earn its keep. Lazy toaster. I also used local honey. I think excellent ingredients make all the difference in good cooking. That and a great knife.

Much to my happy surprise, I've now successfully made baklava twice! Though, I'm afraid (not to toot my own horn) it is good enough that we won't be bringing any home from the church Christmas party.

Heaven! Tasty pecans layered with manna and honey.
A funny thing I was reminded of as I washed up. I have these gorgeous Le Creuset bowls. In the Flame color. My Le Creuset pops of fire in my kitchen are another happy place. They are beautiful so I'm extra careful to make sure I clean the outside well too. Which always makes me think of Jesus addressing the Pharisees:

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. - Matthew 23:25-26

As I go back and clean the inside again, I pray for God to look inside my "bowl" (my heart) and clean me on the inside. The Holy Spirit uses cooking to bring my mind back to why I am here; to what my life is really about. You really can pour love into cooking; even baklava.

In case you were just here about HAIR

Ok, the dry shampoo made a big difference in how tolerable the transition is, because things are getting gross. To me anyways. Tim says it doesn't look bad at all but I feel like I'm starting to look like a meth addict's mug-shot. Ok, part of that feeling is only getting about nine hours of sleep in the past two nights (thank you, object permanence).

Day 9: Yuck. It is greasy. This is the day I used the dry shampoo last time, but I want to see what happens if I don't. I did another rolled-up-ponytail-flower-hairdo.

It's getting pretty oily ... but my scalp feels great!
Meh. It feels worse than it looks, I promise.
Day 10: Today! So I haven't used shampoo in 12 days, and the last time I washed my hair was Saturday night (so, this would be day 4 since any kind  of wash). Who knew I would EVER do this on purpose. But still, it doesn't itch! I did my first ever French braid, thanks to both girls sleeping a little late (after Tori was up till midnight then up again from 4-5, which woke Shelby up ... then she threw a fit because I wouldn't let her color at 4:30am). I love being a mom, I really do. These sleepless nights are a rare event in our blessed household. ANYWAYS, its a pretty sad little French braid, but it distracts from the tiny pumping units that must be on my head. I think Halliburton is starting a little work camp in my right ear.

Is it just me or do all the scalp pictures kinda look the same?
You can tell by my sassy smirk that I kinda like the curls I get from sleeping in a bun.
See my baby!

Alas, then I combed it and it needed to hide ...

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