Long Lost Baklava Photos Found! + The Recipe


Recently I fount a box of slides, lost since 1979, of how to make a Baklava, for a class in Public Speaking, taken for college credit. The camera and lens they were taken with were remarkable, a Canon VT with a 5cm Zunow f/1.1 lens! The camera and lens are lost. I loaned them to someone who moved away.

In 1979 I had to take a public speaking course, and, as part of the class, I had to give an instructional presentation.
So, I taught the class how to make baklava with slides, shot with the long lost Canon VT with a Zunow f/1.1 lens (when this was made, in 1953, this was the fastest lens in the world), and baklava was served with coffee or tea at the end. I don’t think I was a very good lecturer, and the photos were mediocre, but I got an A+ on the presentation and an A in the class.

The baklava constituted an irresistable bribe; my recipe is KILLER!! The professor of rhetoric was the very stern Miss Kloetzle, a tall, pretty, blond lady from Switzerland. The baklava slides had been lost and forgotten for decades, until I found them in the bottom of a junk drawer I was cleaning out; there it was, the little yellow box of slides. I had them scanned and posted them in my albums as"Canon_VT_Baklava_1979.

So, here’s the recipe, a nuclear weapon for your armamentarium wiles, feminine or otherwise, and for all you cute young things of all species and genders, if you make this up and serve it strategically, you all could be married or whatever
in rather short order. The recipe is that good. Enjoy.

Herb’s Baklava!

2 lb. filo dough
~1 1/2 lb. unsalted butter
2 lb. blanched almonds
1 lb. shelled walnuts
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. ground allspice
1 tbsp. ground cloves
~5 dozen large whole cloves

2 cups dark honey
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 sticks cinnamon bark
1 peel of an orange, torn in small pieces
10 whole cloves
1 tbsp. real vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients for the syrup in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, simmer slowly for ~30 minutes, cool and strain.
Grind the nuts with the coarsest blade on a meat grinder and mix thoroughly with sugar, ground cinnamon, ground
allspice, and ground cloves.

Melt butter, and with a pastry brush, butter a 14″×17″×2″ sheet pan, lay a sheet of filo dough in bottom of pan, brush
with butter, turn in any loose ends, brush with butter, cover with another sheet of filo dough, repeating for ~10 more

Then, spread a thin layer of nut mixture on top of filo sheets, cover with another filo sheet, brush with butter, spread
another layer of nuts, lay another sheet of filo, brush with butter, and continue until nuts are used up.
Cover with remaining filo sheets, brushing each with butter.

With a very sharp knife, score the filo sheets most of the way through to make 2″×2″ diamonds.
Tack the top of each diamond down with a whole clove.

Bake in a 350F degree oven for ~1 hour, until evenly golden brown.

When done, remove from oven and immediately pour strained syrup over baklava, so that it is evenly covered.
Cool for ~3 hours before serving. Makes ~5 dozen pieces, equaling ~8 lb. Serve with hot coffee or hot tea. This could be most decoratively served with your Lomography Tea or Coffee Set!

written by herbert-4 on 2010-02-07 #news #lost #slides #college #1979 #canon-vt #baklava #zunow-f-11-lens #public-speaking #armamentarium-of-wiles


  1. vtayeh
    vtayeh ·

    What an awesome treasure to uncover from the bottom of your junk drawer! Thanks for sharing, and I'm totally going to try this recipe :D

  2. nicolas_noir
    nicolas_noir ·

    Wow strange baklava recipe! Most baklava recipes I've seen don't use cinamon, orange peel, all spice and cloves! Its just general rose water, cardamons and pistachios! Where does this variant originate?

  3. kylethefrench
    kylethefrench ·

    yes yes yes, everything looks like the 70s

  4. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    The basic recipe came from my grandmother, Nabihah Dibs Habeeb (aka Mabel Debs) and her pal, my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Osmun. They grew up on opposite sides of the border of Turkey and Lebanon and both of their families had bailed out in 1915, ahead of the chaos of the Armenian Genocide and WWI. They would get together in the kitchen behind my grandmother's beauty shop and hang out in their underwear (traumatic to a 6 year boy!!), bake goodies, and eat them, at 1st with tea, but eventually drinking beer and arrak, while watching wrestling or the Wednesday Night Fights. I think this recipe was Mrs. Osmun's. I changed it a bit to make it reasonable, eliminating gum arabic binding (indigestable), substituted regular orange peel for bitter orange peel (unavailable now), and subtituted vanilla extract for drops of attar of roses (costing, last i knew, US$300 per ounce!!). I think the recipe is supposed to be Ottoman Turk.

  5. cyan-shine
    cyan-shine ·

    Wow! What a treasure :D And what a great story! Being half-Greek I can sure appreciate a nice baklava :D Thanks so much for sharing !!!!

  6. ilovemydiana
    ilovemydiana ·

    haha im going to try and make it better than my greek boss! no, i would get fired...

  7. stouf
    stouf ·

    Super post ! Being (also) half-Greek (How many are we? 8D), I'm super happy to get this recipe that (also) makes me think of my Grandma (Yaya)... Thanks for the details ! By the way, do you still have the f1.1 lens ???

  8. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    The Zunow f/1.1 lens is still not in my posession, but my friend I loaned it to, years ago, died last year, and his widow found the lens on the Canon VT, and a Rollei 35 I'd loaned him. She told me she's going to return them to me when she finally goes through his stuff. They're still buried among boxes.

  9. stouf
    stouf ·

    Sorry to learn that, Herbert...

  10. bravopires
    bravopires ·

    i have not tasted baklava but the shots are delicious!

  11. nural
    nural ·

    For the real thing, you need to do the dough yourself as well.. actually in Turkey, many ladies do baklava at home and the trick is the make as many layers with the dough at once!! and yeah, the recipe is Turkish and delicious!!

  12. makeyuu
    makeyuu ·

    i love baklava!

  13. lamp
    lamp ·

    This is a great article Herbert :)

  14. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    Mmmmm, this looks delicious! Nice story how you got to know this recipe, I think it's good to loose things for a long time just for the feeling you get once you find them. Well, unless we're talking about car keys!

  15. marcus_loves_film
    marcus_loves_film ·

    Thanks for sharing the story behind the recipe! It sounds delicious from your description. I've yet to venture into dough and baking but it's bound to happen soon.

  16. clownshoes
    clownshoes ·

    Great article!

  17. neufotomacher
    neufotomacher ·

    Wonderful aside to photography-yet part of photography.

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