Greek Easter

My father wasn’t one to praise me. A child of the Great Depression, his  measure of success was money; whereas my adult life has been defined by things that often don’t pay the bills: volunteering in my community, writing, filmmaking, acting.

“We sold out four shows and won Best of the Fringe Festival!”

“How much money did you make?”

But I understood. He didn’t want me to be poor, as his family was. He didn’t hesitate to tell my cousins how proud he was of my accomplishments. Just never me.

IMG_2611There was one big exception to his no-praise ways: my execution of his mother’s — my yia yia’s — recipes whenever I baked baklava or koulourakia (Greek Easter cookies — his favorite) for the holidays.

Year after year, with each batch he would say, “I think this is the best one ever, Dianie.” It didn’t matter if I burnt it a little, it was the best one ever.

As predictable as those words eventually became, hearing them was worth more than all the money in the world. I still hear them when I bake for the holidays. It’s why I still bake for the holidays, ten years after his passing.

Χριστός ἀνέστη!, Daddy.


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