A short post to answer the questions...
Marie Grace, they used the recipe in the Joy of Cooking, omitting the lemon and orange zest. They were entirely self-motivated. Owen is definitely turning into a Serious Foodie (is that redundant?) so I expect he'll be making a lot more goodies as time goes on. As a toddler (!) and pre-schooler, he loved (really loved!) watching cooking shows on PBS. No kidding. A born foodie. His next ambition is to make marzipan from scratch. But we don't currently own a full-size food processor, just a mini-chopper, so he's thwarted in that plan for now.
Bezzie, they did not make the phyllo from scratch, but Owen has also expressed an interest in trying that. I think one needs pretty heavy machinery to roll the pastry layers that thin. And way better humidity control than we have.
For all of you who never tried making it, I say, don't be afraid. My husband has done it several times over the years. The first time ever, I explained to him the thing about buttering every layer and he misunderstood. He took a stack of several sheets for the bottom layer and buttered it, put in filling, a top layer (also many sheet thick), and buttered that. D'oh! We had a good laugh about it after, when I told him he really did need to peel every thin sheet and butter it.
My sister used to be the Queen of Baklava when she was in high school. I've made a number of phyllo-based main dishes, like spanokopita, and the main trick is to have your stuff all ready so you can work quickly and not let the pastry dry out. Keep the pastry between two layers of plastic wrap with a damp dishtowel laid on top.
Dale, I'm sorry to report that it will be long gone by Friday, except for the part that takes up residence on my derriere.