Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Great Cheesecake Debate

I have this cheesecake recipe that I’ve obtained through unscrupulous means.  Of course, not my own unscrupulous scruples, but those of a friend. And I didn’t even ask them to unscruple their scruples. It was my Mom. Can you believe it!?!? My Mom! Of course, she requested that her dear friend unscruple her scruples in order to fulfill her daughter’s dream of a cheesecake to end all cheesecakes. So maybe it is my fault… but I’m not buying it.

This isn't my cheesecake.
(1) I would never pose something with silk flowers, it's not my style
(2) my sides never turn out that nicely, and
(3) I haven't put mine in the oven yet.
Oh, and (4) I don't have a marble serving platter (surprise!)

So I’ve had this recipe since… well, I think since my 17th birthday or so. And its not exactly stolen, since its an approximation. After all, the original recipe was for 10 cheesecakes at a time, and also probably written in Israeli and so the note my mom scribbled on a Jeff Dorton For Commissioner notepad while talking on the phone is definitely not stolen. Right? If giving credit will absolve us my Mom from all fault, I will say that there’s a baker in the tri-county area of my parent’s house who makes wonderful baked goods and is originally from Israel (a rarity in Northern PA), and if you try his cheesecake some day, it may or may not taste similar to the recipe written below…

ASIDE: I don’t really understand how a recipe can be either original or stolen. For example: I thought up, in my very own mind, the recipe for Jalapeno Chicken Popper Roll-Ups (I’m still working on the name). I did. I had some Poppers, and thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could eat these for a meal?!” So I thought about it, cogitated on it, and came up with this recipe. And then, I went on AllRecipes.com and found 3 other recipes for it.  Now, they’re not exact, but they’re similar. So was my idea original? What if I took someone else’s recipe, and tweaked it a little? Have I stolen their recipe, or have I made my own? I think that, no matter what I come up with, someone else somewhere in the world has tried the exact same thing. So are any recipes original? Please advise, I’m all tangled up inside over this very issue.

ASIDE: Also, what is up with recipe developers? How do they do it? How do people come up with new recipes and not just take one’s they’ve eaten before and write them down, or tweak them a little? That’d be like being a “Name Developer”. Again, any name you come up with is probably already in use by someone throughout the history of the world. Maybe, maybe you’ve put together a middle & first name that have never before been paired, but they’ve both been used. I just don’t get it.

ASIDE: What if I wrote my whole posts in “aside”’s? Would you still love me? I won’t test it. Too risky.

So anyhow, I’ve been making this cheesecake for as long as I’ve been making anything. Really, I didn’t start cooking in full force until I got married, but this cheesecake and I, well, we go way back. Like, scraped knees on the playground, knew each other’s imaginary friends, waaaaay back. So, since Handsome has been around since the dawn of time himself, he and this cheesecake are, shall we say, well acquainted.

The other day, as I’ve heard it told, there was a bit of a throwdown at the fire station regarding the excellence of different cheesecakes. Well, Handsome may or may not have told everyone that his wife’s cheesecake is better than that imposter cake they think is so awesome, and he may or may not have volunteered said wife to put her skills to the test and show everyone how awesome her cheesecake was. And so said wife may or may not be making a cheesecake tonight, under no small amount of pressure to perform. You may or may not want to offer up a little prayer for said wife, that the top would not crack and the springform pan would not leak (as it has been wont to do lately), and the sides would not burn.

In case you’d like to make one tonight (or any other night, for that matter), here is the recipe I will said wife will be following, in all of its Israeli hijacked & modified glory. Short, sweet, and to the point.

Oozi’s Cheesecake

2 ½ lbs Cream cheese
1 1/3 C Sugar
6 Eggs
1/3 C Sour cream
½ C Heavy whipping cream
1 t Vanilla
1/4 t Lemon Zest

Crust (My own creation):
1 box Nilla Wafers
½ t Ground Cinnamon (heaping)
1 stick Butter (melted)

Mix together Nilla wafers & cinnamon. Pour in melted butter, and combine. Pat into 3 pie pans, or 1 springform pan and 1 pie pan.  Beat cream cheese until soft. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into 3 pie crusts and bake at 350˚ fro 30 minutes. If using a spring form pan, bake one at a time, with a bowl of water on the rack underneath, until edges are browned and only the very center jiggles.

Please note that I have only one rack, so the whole “underneath” thing isn’t going to fly. Also, this makes slightly more than one springform pan full, and so I’ll be making myself a cheesecake, too. And that one won’t need to be pretty or perfect and will not, in any way, be measured by its appearance. In fact, the only way I’ll measure it is by the number of forkfuls that make their way into my mouth.

As an alternative way to serve this cheesecake (to myself), I may chill it, cut it into pieces, stick skewers into the pieces, freeze them, dip them in melted chocolate, and freeze them s’more. And then eat them all. Quickly.

Stealing from God’s chosen people,

p.s.- Handsome just informed me that no one else is bringing in a cheesecake, so mine is competing against memories of greatness.  I might be toast!


  1. That looks SO delicious. I didn't even notice the silk flowers until you mentioned it. Funny : ) My son just about dies of happiness when I make cheesecake. I can't make it too often since I could eat the whole flipping thing : ) and heaven only knows I don't need to do that!

    I went to college in Northeast Pennsylvania. Clarks Summit to be exact.

    Hope it is delicious!

  2. I can't believe, after all I've done for you, all these years we've been together, you sold me out. You do realize, don't you, that you put our friend (I'll call her Beulah) in great personal and professional danger by revealing this information. I hope you can live with yourself. And your cheesecake.

  3. @Life with Kaishon

    I know what you mean, I hardly ever make them. I probably made them too much when I first got married, if our weight gain was any indication! So good! I'm trying to convince myself I don't need to eat the whole thing for dinner tonight... Nice to meet a fellow Pennsylvanian, even if you are from the "wrong" side of the state :)


    I'm going to live quite nicely, with my cheesecake in my belly. And the statute of limitations was up last week, so Beulah is safe. I'd never jeopardize her career. You should know that!


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