It’s Springtime

My mother is always in good spirits after the vernal equinox as it means she no longer lives in perpetual darkness…

For those of us who do not live on top of the world, the differences are perhaps subtler. In a similar vein, colleague recently requested a lemon cheesecake and since I am chairwoman of the Birthday Committee at my office, I figured this would be a good way to say, “Happy Birthday, March.”

(Fun Fact: my grandmother lived in Burlingame, CA for years and years and years. Even MORE Fun: SFO is in the vicinity and I’m flying there tomorrow.)

The really interesting thing about this cheesecake is that it called for a water bath (my second in one week!) I was worried again about scalding myself…but assume it had something to do with the cheesecake cracking? My cheesecakes always crack, so I was willing to experiment.

I decided to improvise with the crust – Lorna Doone! – as I had no idea how many of those little cookies were in half a cup…and who has time to grind them up and measure them and then grind up more and measure again and so on and so forth? It also calls for a lot of butter, so the crust wasn’t at all as grainy as my cheesecakes are usually wont to be. In any event, it kind of reminds me of that NYT story about improvising…I also couldn’t be bothered to actually wash my teaspoons, so I used a regular spoon and eyeballed the lemon juice and zest. (I live on the edge on weekdays.)

(While this sucker was in the oven, I was flipping channels and came across something about female bodybuilders on TLC. They were preparing for a big competition and had cans of Pam backstage! Do they spray themselves with it?? The commentator said something about them eating sugary foods right before the competition to make their veins bulge…)

I was pleased to see the cheesecake did not crack in the oven…but only one side was browned. It looked kind of like flan or creme brulee. I had to get really creative about storing it in the refrigerator, stacking a bunch of stuff to nestle my cheesecake in tight: plate, springform pan (which I think is warped), wax paper and another plate on top. This setup was intended to prevent any weird refrigerator smells from contaminating my cheesecake.

My colleagues seemed to enjoy it…but I have to admit I feel kind of like a freakshow bringing in multiple cakes a week. So…I may hold off for awhile and let some anticipation build (and to perhaps create the illusion that I do actually have other hobbies…).

One colleague asked if there was mascarpone in it. I couldn’t believe it! I was thrilled…what a fine palate he has.


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