Wednesday, 30 November 2011

November 30th - wobbly cheesecakes and single mothers

Dear Nigel,

Had a wonderful baked New York cheesecake at my Mum's the other week; so today i thought i would make a couple to put by for Christmas, to have with sour cream and mixed berries. It's interesting that i should have tasted this wonderful cheesecake at my mum's as, i have to say, it's the cheesecakes i had at home as a child that put me off going near one for years. Even when they had a bit of a revival a few years back i couldn't be tempted.

The cheesecake, as i remember it, was a 70's invention which came out of a packet from Greens and to which a lemon jelly was somehow added, which gave it it's characteristic wobble. On top my Mum would add a revolving layer of tinned mandarin and a little jug of evaporated mild was passed reverently round.

Setting to, to replicate this New York vanilla  cheesecake, the cordon bleur cook in me was struggling to get out again - mainly out of the kitchen - as i remembered, a little too late, that my 9" springform tin is a little battered and therefore not as snug-fitting as it should be. I watched the liquid filling start to pour out from underneath and went for the shove-it-on-a-baking sheet and into the oven approach in the hope that it would start to set before the entire contents dripped out of the tin. This method appeared to work. No doubt the same thing will happen next time as i will, in all probability, forget to replace the offending tin. I don't suppose you suffer battered tins gladly, Nigel. But then, how often do you find when you want to use them that someone's gone off with them and stuffed them with blue Playdough?

I was considering the plight of single mothers today. It occurred to me that i am simply following in something of a family tradition. My great-grandma was a young mum during the first world was when her husband died, leaving her four small children to bring up on her own. My granny was a young mum during the second world war and was left with two small children and a fish shop to run whilst grandpa went to war. My own mum fairly brought us three up on her own during the 60's and 70's as my dad was away working in the far east most of the time. So, the modern epidemic of divorce and separation (and i've achieved both) is nothing to spill the milk over.

You make a simple miso broth with prawn dumplings, i make a more substantial soup with spiced beef and red pepper. It relies heavily on smoked paprika and sour cream and i love it: just what i need to keep this foul dark weather at bay. Took the kids to the ice cream farm to see the animals and taste- test the tubs we want to buy in for Christmas. There was a time when i made all my own ice cream, but several episodes with a bouncing ice cream maker, and the fact that here in the Peak District we are at least blessed with five really good ice cream farms in a very small radius (bet you can't say that in your neck of the woods )  has made me change tack.

Yours from the bottom of a good bottle of wine,


No comments:

Post a Comment