Here's something I was reminded of on Saturday: Baklava takes a long time to make. It takes an even longer time to make at 1 a.m. when you are smammered, and the butter you left out on the counter all day is the consistency of pudding and you are drunkenly fingerpainting it all over the phyllo dough and yourself, and your guests keep looking crestfallen when you say it'll be ready at 2 a.m.
Important life lesson: Make the baklava at noon when you are sober as a Pope.
But if life gets in the way, if you run out for a quick errand on the Fenway and find yourself in Red Sox game day traffic, if you get home late and realize you COMPLETELY FORGOT about the lamb chops when you made your food plan, and they are sitting in your fridge and not getting any younger . . . then you just roll with it. When the guests arrive, put down your spatula and enjoy yourself for awhile. Make your baklava at midnight as a reward for the more tenacious souls. And don't beat yourself up about it. There is no wrong time to hand people gobs of butter drowning in liquid sugar.
Apart from that snafu, the party went great. Guests ate hearty Lebanese food and drank champagne sherbet punch in the living room with Jewel of the Nile in the background, danced along to Neon's gyrations, and smoked apple-flavored tobacco by fairy light on the front porch, everyone lying in a happy barefooted heap in the cool of the evening. Lovely.