(Originally written on January 11)
I once helped my mom make a cheesecake while I was home on break during college. It was the first cheesecake that I ever helped with, to my recollection, and I was nervous but proud to be making something so “difficult.” My mom used her food processor to mix the cheesecake filling,which I thought was a very good idea. The only problem was that I was not then, nor am I now, very good at breaking eggs open. I often end up smashing the egg more than cracking it, and then I have to stick my finger into the “crack” (or smash) and pull the eggshell apart. This may or may not result in eggshell falling into my batter or dough.. it just depends what kind of mood I’m in. So anyway, on my first cheesecake-making day I was a little nervous about the eggs because I had to break one at a time, and then send it down through the chute on top of the food processor. My mom encouraged me to tap the egg right on the chute to crack it, and then drop the egg in. It went well for the first two eggs, but on the third egg, my fingers shook a little and that caused the WHOLE egg, shell included, to drop down into the food processor. This may have been a salvageable mission, had the food processor not been running! We tediously and painstakingly tried to collect all of the pieces of eggshell from the filling, but worried that there were more than our probing fingers could find. We held our breath as it baked, and sighed happily at its beauty after it cooled. And then it came time to slice it, and eat it… and I promise you… each and every bit crunched. Each and Every bite. I couldn’t bring myself to eat cheesecake, especially plain cheesecake, for many years.
So, today is my friend Lori’s birthday– HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Lori!!– and I decided that I wanted to make her a cheesecake to top off our dinner last night. I used that very same tried and true recipe from years ago, and stayed far, far away from my food processor. (It sure took a long time to get it nice and smooth with a hand mixer!!) This cheesecake looked exactly the same as the last one I made, but thankfully, it was satisfyingly un-crunchy!
So, JP and I thank you, Lori, for having a birthday and restoring our faith in our cheesecake baking and eating skills. Have a birthday any time you’d like- we’ll gladly eat cheesecake with you.
And, look Mom, no eggshells!