Dear Mrs. Todd’s Mom,
My name is Sarah and I am one of your son Todd’s friends. The reason you don’t know me is that I am one of Todd’s “LA friends,” and I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t talk about his “LA friends” with you and the rest of your family in Ohio. If it makes you feel any better, though, I was born in Detroit, a very respectable midwestern city. (Don’t worry, I'm too old to know Eminem.)
I am writing to you because I wanted to let you know that when Todd came back to LA from his visit home over the winter break, he brought back a piece of your Holiday Baklava that he says you make every year. He came by the other day to drop off a little square of the baklava, which was perfectly protectively wrapped in waxed paper, then securealy sealed in plastic wrap, which is so very Todd. He must have learned to be thorough and detail-oriented from you. You did a very good job of raising your son. When I opened it, there was a perfect square of baklava cut into four precise isosceles triangles. I tasted one piece right there, and wow, Mrs. Todd’s Mom, I was blown away.
Todd had told me about the baklava before and how delicious it is, like many times, but I never believed all his bragging because well, I don’t know. I just didn’t. But now I know that your baklava is awesome. (“Awesome” is LA for “very tasty.”)
I’m writing to you, of course, to tell you how delicious your baklava is, and to thank you for letting Todd bring some back to LA with him to share. However, the real reason I’m writing is to find out how you chopped the nuts so finely into veritable pixie pearls, yet they did not become a pulverized nutty powder? How did you achieve a texture in the nut layers that is so densely packed upon visual inspection, and yet so light and airy upon taste? What is your secret technique to getting those fragile layers of phyllo dough to stick not just to each other, but also to the fairy nut dust so that they don’t peel off like layers of shale? How did you so very evenly distribute the nuts between the layers of phyllo, as if, as Todd your genius scientist son would say, as if the nuts were molecules under Fick’s Law passing in simple diffusion across delicate phyllo membranes until it was all one gorgeous sticky sugary honeyed baklava equilibirum?!?! I have made baklava before, and yours puts mine to bitter bitter shame.
I do understand that the recipe for your baklava might be a very closely guarded Todd’s Mom’s family secret that has been passed down from generation to generation, so Mrs. Todd’s Mom, I have a proposal for you.
I’d be more than happy to join your family.
I’ve thought about the possibility of marrying into your family via Todd, but I think that might cramp his pimpin’ LA-style. Besides, Todd and I could never get married because I think he’d only want me for my sewing machine, and I’m not that kind of girl. No hitching just for stitching, if you know what I mean.
So I was wondering if you, Mrs. Todd’s Mom, might, well, this might sound kind of weird, but would you want to adopt me? That way you could just pass your baklava recipe on to me as your adopted daughter. I know it may sound ridiculous because I’m Asian and if you and the rest of your family look like Todd with curly platinum blonde hair then it would be so totally obvious that I am not your biological child.
But, I think it would be really cute in the family Christmas pictures because you’d look all big-hearted motherly responsible like Angelina Jolie adopting Maddox and Pax. For bakalava, I'd even *ahem* cut my hair into a mohawk and take on a new name that ends in "X." Like "Sarax." Of course, I know that you’ve already raised the fruit of your own loins into fine young adults, but see, I’m already an adult, too, so it wouldn’t require much parenting. I just thought it might be a nice, easy way to share your family recipe without having to go outside the family. That’s all.
Anyway, I think your baklava is rad. (“Rad” is LA for “awesome.”)
I’m looking forward to hearing from you about the family thing!
Very truly and hopefully your future adopted Asian American daughter,
p.s. Please don’t tell Todd that I told you about the pimp thing. I think that’s probably why he never talks about his LA life with you. You know him as your genius molecular biologist son, but we, his “LA friends” know him as Todd-in-Chains.
p.p.s. Todd said something about your sauerkraut balls, too. Well, that’s just perfect because I eat kimchee, which is basically a spicy sauerkraut if you think about it. Just a thought.