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Central Catholic Cook shares baklava recipe

The Massillon Independent
Central Catholic High School’s Teresa Smith shares a special baklava recipe she makes for her family.

Name: Teresa Smith

Age: 63

Residence: Jackson Township

School: Central Catholic

Years: 30 years

Family: Husband, David; children, David Jr., Shannon, Shane, Brandon; dog, Bella

Q: What’s the best part about your job?

A: Seeing and interacting with the kids.

Q: What’s the most challenging aspect of working in a cafeteria?

A: Finding foods that kids will eat.

Q: Can you share your best tip on cooking for a crowd?

A: Have lots of help.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned on the job?

A: Choose simple items and give them options.

Q: Who does the cooking at home?

A: I do.

Q: What’s one kitchen gadget or tool you can’t do without and why?

A: A sharp knife. We do a lot of cutting, slicing and dicing. I also use one to test the doneness of brownies and other desserts. A knife is also good for opening packages.

Q: If you weren’t working in a school cafeteria what job would you most want?

A: Librarian.

Q: Name the holiday dessert that is always served at your house each year and what’s the story behind it?

A: Baklava. My neighbor made it every Christmas and would send me some. It was delicious and would disappear. I had her teach me how to make it, and it’s been a family favorite ever since.

Baklava Ingredients:
1 package filo dough
1 pound butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 pound pecans
1/2 pound walnuts, chopped fine
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup honey
1 cup light corn syrup
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Mix nuts, sugar and cinnamon together.

Lay six or seven filo sheets, one at a time, on a 13-inch-by-18-inch baking sheet. Spread half of the nut mix on top. Lay six or seven more filo sheets and add the remaining nut mix and spread. Lay the rest of the filo on top.

Cut into a diamond pattern. Poor butter over. Put in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn down to 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown.

Ten minutes before baklava is done, heat honey and syrup to boil. Add lemon. Boil for one minute. When cookie is done, pour it over top evenly.

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