Holiday Treats

The end-of-year holidays often are full of sweet treats from friends and coworkers -- but I've found the personal interactions surrounding those treats can be even sweeter. 

As I've mentioned in past blog posts, I volunteer as a baker for Boise's Greek Orthodox Church, which hosts a well-attended Greek Food Festival just after Memorial Day.

We also make pastries as a Christmas fundraiser, ensuring that my Decembers are especially hectic!

We start calling people to take their pastry orders in November, and I've developed a rapport with a few of the longtime "customers." Friday was pick-up day, when people come by the church to get their orders. We brew a big urn of coffee and invite them to stick around, sample the wares and chat.

You'd think people would be too busy to sit down, and I'm always surprised that so many do, sharing their stories of how they found out about our "bake sale," how much they like the food festival and so on.

One older woman came in and asked for me by name. She pulled a little book out of her purse and handed it to me.

"I've been going through my cookbooks and knew you would like this one," she said. She also gave me a newspaper article from 1999 about making baklava.

I gave her a hug and found myself tearing up. What a sweetheart!

The book looks to be from the 1960s and contains some recipes I can't wait to try -- after I've recovered from this holiday pastry season.

I hope your December is just as sweet.