Let’s talk about baklava. If you’re not familiar, baklava is a flaky, syrupy pastry common to many cultures around the world.
Baklava also happens to be the signature offering at holiday gatherings at the Nasrs house – my neighbors when I was growing up. Dan, their son, was (and still is) one of best friends. When I’d go over to his house around Christmas or Easter or who knows, maybe even National Kite Flying Day, there was Mrs. Nasr - eager to serve a platter of her Egyptian-style baklava. The Nasrs immigrated to America from Egypt in the 60’s or 70s and adopted Dan – their only son.
I’m more of a cookie dough ice cream guy, but I always accepted. I peeled the sticky treat from the paper and devoured it. All the while, Mrs. Nasr stood smiling, seizing this moment of mouthful silence to ask me, ‘Eric, how is your mother, and your father, and your sister? How is school? Are you being a good boy?’ I’d shake my head yes as she offered me another. It wasn’t just small talk. She was genuinely interested.
Mrs. Nasr in many ways was the human manifestation of her own delectable dessert. She was delicate, sweet, traditional, peculiar, layered and existed for the sole purpose of bringing enjoyment to everyone she came in contact with.
I’ve never met a sweeter lady. I’ll miss you Mrs. Nasr. And of course, your baklava.