In the past month I’ve made two cheesecakes. Actually, I’ve made seven, but five of those were mini cheesecakes which don’t count as much (all though, I did sort of make up the proportions on my own, so I’m quite proud of them). A friend remarked, when I announced my intent to make the first one, that she thought cheesecakes were a lot of work. I don’t remember exactly what I said in reply. It was morning, I was in a hurry, and I was running through a list of ingredients that I had recently memorized.
Cheesecakes, in my opinion, are not very hard work, they are simply time consuming. They aren’t the date apple pie or peach cobbler or even the tart apple crisp which I can whip up in under 35 minutes if need be. A chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake, on the other hand, takes an afternoon. The most recent cheesecake was started at 415 and finished near 7pm by the time all was said and done. There is, however, something delightful in the time it takes.
I baked for three different people this month: the first was a birthday present for G and myself as we share a birthday weekend. E and I went down for a weekend, took the kids to the pool and enjoyed a late night of conversation with our wonderful friend (J is out of town for the summer). The second was for a friend who covered E’s shift while we attended a concert (in fact, you may be reading this while we are at said concert). The miniatures were for E to take to a friend’s and for me to bring home to my roommate.
I love watching the mixer cream and churn the ingredients, whipping sugars into smooth silk and smushing the eggs so that their bright orange streaks through the batter and livens the bowl. I love the way my fingers stick together and I love the chance to stand in my bare feet, hips swaying to music in my mind while I wash the bowls and lay them on the counter to dry; all while smelling the waft of joy and delight.
I also love that cheesecake is not something that most folks make for themselves. I love that it’s an opportunity to share a rare treat and love on people who have done good things to me. It’s a chance to pray for them while I whisk together the vanilla and sour cream; a chance to thank God for them as the crust is crunched down into the silver spring form pan–ready and waiting for the bounty it’s about to receive. I find a moment of thrill in the faces of the ones I love as they taste that first, rich morsel (and then dive in for more!).
I love cheesecake because it is fun to make and it is a great gift to share with others.
postscript: keep praying for rain and less winds! the fires are getting contained, but the work is not yet finished!!