Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Cheesecake Incident

For those of us here Downunder who love an American today was Thanksgiving. And soon tomorrow will be too! In the eight years I have known the great love of my life I have spent only one Thanksgiving with her. One. (And for that matter one Christmas also) When yet another solo Thanksgiving rolls around I invariably revisit that day I spent with her and in particular I love to revisit the cheesecake incident. Here below is my journal note from Thanksgiving 2005.

"It was Thanksgiving here this last Thursday. This being the very first I have ever experienced I diligently plotted and planned for days. I scoured the net for tips and, two days before, disappeared into the kitchen posting "Do Not Disturb" signs all over. Nothing about the recipes I was tackling made too much sense to me. There were seemingly discordant flavour combinations and vegetables with odd names and unexpected flesh colour. And there were sacred old family recipes which I rapidly learnt one must never ever ever tamper with! My whispered protestation about how the stuffing recipe seemed "just a little bland" and my private fears about its texture went unnoticed. The most this novice from Downunder managed to get away with was to slip a lttle pumpkin in the cheesecake!

Ahh and what a cheesecake it was!!! Mouthwatering though I do admit it caused a few anxious moments. When it came out of the oven it looked superb but the settling process was alarming. I suppose the sight of the two of us nervously huddled over that cheesecake watching it slowly crack wide open must have been rather amusing. Cheesecakes, I discovered that night, do not respond well to pleading. Or begging. Or shrieks of horror.

In the end I filled the enormous crack with roughly grated chocolate and I do not believe anyone was any the wiser. Since this was the first cheesecake I have ever made, and of course my first ever Thanksgiving, I was hanging out for compliments and our friends from New York and Chicago did not let me down. Both assured me it was delicious. Since neither of these good people are burdened by English sensibilities and since I would expect them to both know their cheesecakes (better than a novice from Downunder) I felt I could depend on their honesty! "

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