I love lots of things about cooking and baking! I find it to be calming, fun, and I love picking at the ingredients while I cook (I bet you do it too!). I generally try to bake or cook to concentrate solely on what I'm making and not worry about anything else going on in my life. When it comes down to it being in the kitchen not only gets rid of my stress, but lets me look back at good memories I have with family, friends, and whoever else has had the privilege to cook/dine with me (just kidding!!!). My favorite thing about cooking is how food can translate into a memory. A few of my favorite examples are:
-whenever I smell food on a grill I think about being down the shore
-whenever I see a raisin I think about baking a certain Christmas cookie with my family
-cream of mushroom soup, egg salad, vienna fingers, V-8, and pink mints will always remind me of being at my Nannie's house
When I set out to make Smitten Kitchen's New York style cheesecake it was like any other night of baking/cooking for me. I was happy and taste testing the yummy mix of cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and whatever else gives cheesecakes the magical powers they have! When I took my first bite of the finished product I was instantly reminded of the greatest most perfect cake I've ever had!
I was born with this pesky gene that makes me unable to turn down a piece of cheesecake. Does anyone else have that one? I wish there was a cure, but no such luck. My Nannie had a friend who made a cheesecake with cherry filling topping on it that would make even Martha's knees weak. I would request this cake whenever I had a birthday, holiday, special day, or any day ending in "y" to be honest. My young adult self's life revolved around this cheesecake (and convincing my parents to get me a dog). I remember going to my Nannie's and there would be a cheesecake from "the cheesecake lady" in her dining room and I would get so excited, give her a big hug and basically act like I won the lottery. I am a gal who has had her fair share of cheesecake and this was the best. No contest. When I was 14/15, the woman I knew only as, "the cheesecake lady" moved far away and my days of perfection were over. I was too young too remember if I ever met her in person. She has since passed away but I hope she knew how much I enjoyed her cheesecakes. I like to think she did because there were times when there would be a surprise cheesecake, on a day when there was nothing to celebrate. I'm sure my Nannie let her know that she had a grand-daughter who lived and breathed for her cheesecake.
I had not thought of that woman or her cheesecake in years. That one bite of Smitten Kitchen's cheesecake is the closest I've come to cheesecake that is on a whole different level since I was 13.
I strongly suggest you make this cheesecake, share it with others, and hopefully make a delicious memory of your own.
5 years ago