Just wrote a long piece of something and threw it away. It was heedless, and I need to be more heedful. Google Alerts make finding something to be offended by way too easy, which is why I use them judiciously. I Googled my name the other day and found a hidden gem — a comment left on a blog three years ago that blamed me for the steep circulation slide suffered by my former employer during the nearly 20 years I worked there. That was good for a laff. I knew it was my fault, somehow. It wasn’t the industry-wide decline in all ink-on-paper news, or the idiot publisher’s plan to cut costs by severing the subscriptions of several thousand out-of-county readers, or anything else that went wrong in the long slow decline of newspaper journalism. Glad we’ve found a culprit.
I’m wondering why things haven’t stabilized or recovered in my absence. You people who still read it will have to answer that one. The last time I looked at it I got embarrassed. No wonder so many former employees fudge the details in their bios.
So you folks will have to fend for yourselves today. I can offer you a cheesecake recipe, which I bothered to type last night (oh, of course it’s everywhere on the web, but I didn’t know that until after I typed it) for e-mailing to Mindy, who was despairing at finding a recipe for a classic dry, dense cheesecake. I clipped this out of Esquire magazine around 1980 and have made it several times, but not for a while. Esquire contended it represents the Platonic ideal of cheesecake, and credits it to a famous New York City deli. Notes follow:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. grated lemon zest
1 egg yolk
1 stick butter, softened
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 T flour
1 1/2 t. each grated lemon and orange zest
1/4 t. vanilla
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Make a well in the center, add egg yolk and butter, and mix with your hands until well blended, adding a little cold water if necessary to make a workable dough. Wrap in plastic and chill one hour in refrigerator.
In another large mixing bowl cream the cheese with an electric mixer, and add sugar, flour, lemon and orange zest and vanilla, and beat well. Add eggs and yolks one at a time, beating lightly after each addition. Add heavy cream, beat lightly, and set mixture aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter the base and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and remove the top from the pan. Roll out about one-third of the dough one-eighth inch thick, fit it over the bottom of the pan, and trim by running a rolling pin over the edges. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden, then cool. Increase heat to 550 degrees. Place the top of the pan over the base. Roll remaining dough one-eighth inch thick, cut in strips to fit almost to the top of the sides of the pan, and press so that the strips line the sides completely. Fill pan with cheese mixture, bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 200 and bake one hour.
To serve, remove the top of the pan very carefully and cut into wedges.
Me again. Now I see why I haven’t made this lately. All that fussing with the crust! It’s a lot of work to make something everybody leaves on the plate, but you need it to keep the filling from running out the cracks in the springform. If I were doing this today, I’d scrap the pastry for graham-cracker.
I’d also forget that ridiculous 550-degree oven. Most home stoves don’t go that high, and you can get the same result — the nice brown top — at 400.
But this is a hell of a cheesecake. It’s the citrus zest. Enjoy, if you end up making it.
Bloggage? Just a little:
You learn something new ever day. Something I learned yesterday: The Presbyterian College sports teams are known as the Blue Hose. Good thing they’re Presbyterians and are genetically unable to see the humor possibilities.
My “Jersey Shore” nickname: The Rack. Fitting. Find your own. That site also has a Tiger Woods mistress generator. Here’s mine: Congrats, your Tiger Woods mistress is Melody O’Brian from Duluth, MN. She is a 19 year old business executive. You know she’s telling the truth because she knows about Tiger’s tattoo.
Best of luck to day to our own mild-mannered Jeff, having sinus surgery today and likely out for a while.
To work for me.
Dorothy said on December 17, 2009 at 9:52 am
Mine sounds ominous: The Appointment. That’s gonna bug me all day now.
Jeff Borden said on December 17, 2009 at 9:55 am
Well, I’m J-Muscle, which is beyond ludicrous given my totally muscleless physique. Still, I think it within my capacity to thrash Joe Lieberman.
brian stouder said on December 17, 2009 at 9:55 am
I’m with you, Dorothy. I think it detected my inner-wimp:
Sounds like the name of the guy who cleans up the free breakfast area in the hotel by the freeway
MichaelG said on December 17, 2009 at 10:24 am
I’m the Deltoid. I have no idea what to make of that.
ROgirl said on December 17, 2009 at 10:33 am
I’m Sunny. Go figure.
John said on December 17, 2009 at 10:37 am
That is sooooooooo me! Nancy, are you also to blame for global warming, the collapse of banking industry, and the conversion of my loose fit jeans to snug ones? Pulling down one newspaper doesn’t impress your fan base, we demand colossal devastation.
Rana said on December 17, 2009 at 10:41 am
The Position. Hmm…
Jeff Borden said on December 17, 2009 at 10:43 am
My wife’s came up The Back End. Sheeesh. If you think I’m going to share that with her, fuggedaboudit.
Snarkworth said on December 17, 2009 at 10:48 am
Speaking of destroying newspapers, here’s a correction that appeared in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer:
Because of a spell-check error, a story yesterday on Pennsylvania’s political crisis misspelled the name of former Gov. Milton J. Shapp.
(It appeared as Sharp).
Now, really. First they furlough the copy editors, because after all, they have spell-check. Now they’re blaming spell-check for their errors.
Deborah said on December 17, 2009 at 10:48 am
I’m Tan Trum
Dorothy said on December 17, 2009 at 10:55 am
My husband came up Juice Springsteen, and then my son came up as D J Douchebag. Lovely.
Colleen said on December 17, 2009 at 10:58 am
Um. Yeah. NO.
Julie Robinson said on December 17, 2009 at 10:59 am
Last Call. I’m more of a first call gal.
Your former employer is irrelevant in the community now, and not just because they’ll print anyone’s fuzzy photos of the grandkids at the lake. I made a quilt square for a city competition and was quoted on the front page. Crickets. But lots of people heard a couple of radio interviews I did. Circulation is abysmal. We still get it because they give us the retiree rate, but all I read is the comics, and I think it will be high on the next budget cutting list.
Jolene said on December 17, 2009 at 11:06 am
My Jersey Shore nickname is The Opportunity.
My Tiger ID is: Congrats, your Tiger Woods mistress is Jenn Hopkins from Tampa, FL. She is a 19 year old model. You know she’s telling the truth because she framed the check Tiger gave her to keep quiet.
I likes Nancy’s better. Being a business executive at 19 sounds so much better than the long slog of college and grad school.
PC said on December 17, 2009 at 11:10 am
nancynall.com » Binning it.
You learn something new ever day. Something I learned yesterday: The Presbyterian College sports teams are known as the Blue Hose. Good thing they’re Presbyterians and are genetically unable to see the humor possibilities. …
nancynall.com – http://nancynall.com/
moe99 said on December 17, 2009 at 11:17 am
My Jersey Shore nickname is Pooker. More apt these days.
In an odd bit of serendipity, I just got done posting a fruitcake recipe on my blog. Not quite the same class as NN’s however.
Randy, the author of the fruitcake recipe, was a history professor at Defiance College. And a very funny guy. In 1972, when I was going to college in St. Paul, I took an interim course with a class of his, where we travelled south of Tucson and excavated a Civil War era fort for the month of January. I’d go back to the hotel room at night and watch the weather reports coming out of MN and laugh.
adrianne said on December 17, 2009 at 11:21 am
Yo, I’m the tight end!
brian stouder said on December 17, 2009 at 11:22 am
Today’s chuckle, from the socially conservative, patriarchal, morally upright Middle East
Golf in Dubai CEO Mohammad Juma Bu Amin told Gulf News: “We are with you in this difficult time and respect your request for family privacy. As and when you decide to return to the circuit, you can always count on us.” He then added: “We will be more than delighted to welcome you to Dubai. Consider Dubai your second home.
Or, forget “second home” and make it the primary one! On the bright side, at least Tiger drove an Escalade instead of a Chevy Cheyenne, in which case he might have gone all “Chris Henry” on us
edit – when it comes to Jersey shore nicknames, any woman called ‘Rack’ would turn my head!
LAMary said on December 17, 2009 at 11:28 am
Congrats, your Tiger Woods mistress is Janey Jones from Tampa, FL. She is a 21 year old orthopedist. You know she’s telling the truth because Tiger’s not her first celeb. Works for me.
And my Jersey Shore nickname is Snickers. I know an Australian Shepherd named Snickers. We are nothing alike.
Mindy said on December 17, 2009 at 11:38 am
My Jersey Shore nickname is The Ashley Simpson of Cape May. Lord have mercy.
ROgirl said on December 17, 2009 at 11:39 am
I’m Janey Jones, too.
I came across this yesterday and can’t stop thinking about it. Mmmmm, crack pie! $5 a slice!
brian stouder said on December 17, 2009 at 11:41 am
Mmmmm, crack pie!
Sounds like another Jersey Shore nickname
edit – that pie recipe of Nance’s looks a little intimidating, but I may just take a swing at it. The results should be ‘crack pie’ (one way or another)
Dave said on December 17, 2009 at 11:55 am
Orange Juice? Like OJ? But, I didn’t kill anyone.
I like the idea of being a 21 year old orthopedist without all those troublesome years of school, too.
Congrats, your Tiger Woods mistress is Tabitha Johnson from Jacksonville, FL. She is a 19 year old stripper. You know she’s telling the truth because she has an NDA from Tiger’s lawyer. (Now, that’s just a little more believable!)
Nancy, your former employer is sad, sad, sad, but we still subscribe, mostly because I (and I do mean I) still enjoy having a paper to read and I like the comics in the NS. Was it the late Mary Jacobus who really sent the NS on a slow death cycle, because it seems inevitable, in its present form.
Julie, I heard you on the radio, was half paying attention when I heard the name and my ears perked right up.
nancy said on December 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm
No, it wasn’t her fault. But she didn’t help. Of course, you could say that of scores of newspaper executives over the years. But I will never forget that meeting with her when we were told we were cutting our circulation 10 percent ON PURPOSE. All your career you’re accused of doing this or that “to sell newspapers.” And then one day you’re not. Go figure.
derwood said on December 17, 2009 at 11:57 am
Your Jersey Shore nickname is: The Operation
Speaking of The Operation I had sinus surgery three years ago…my one piece of advice is to stay on top of the Vicodin for the first 4-5 days every 4 hours. If you let the pain get a head of you it is not fun.
alex said on December 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm
Greetings from The Body.
Nance’s old paper is still intentionally cutting its own circulation. Why else would the management have chosen two crass simpletons, one a Teabagger and the other a Bible thumper, as the featured columnists?
nancy said on December 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm
Who’s the other one, The Body?
alex said on December 17, 2009 at 12:32 pm
Well, technically one of them is more of an op-ed writer and blogger.
EDIT: Come to think of it, the columnist is both a Teabagger and a Bible thumper.
LAMary said on December 17, 2009 at 12:48 pm
Hey Alex, when I was growing up there was a notorious local woman everyone referred to as Irma the Body. Is she a relative?
Jen said on December 17, 2009 at 12:57 pm
My Jersey Shore nickname is The Position. Ha! My Tiger Woods Mistress name is Danger Little from Lubbock, TX. She is a 25 year old teacher. You know she’s telling the truth because she has texts from Tiger.
Mmmm, that cheesecake sounds great! Although, I agree that the crust sounds like a pain in the behind. I’d have to have a long amount of time carved out to make that, but it’s that way with almost any cheesecake. When I first made one I was surprised at how time-intensive they are! Next time I have a few hours I might try making it though. Baking is my hobby, and I love that cleaning up the kitchen usually falls to my husband instead of me!
Cathy D. said on December 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm
I know I keep reading the NS for the wonderful reader-submitted photos of pies.
Dexter said on December 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm
The Prince of Paramus checking in. I used to gas up at the Auburn, IN BP station after my night shift, and every morning a dude was there gassing up his van which was originally owned by the Paramus New Jersey FD.
The new owner had it full of lawn mowers. That is my only personal reference to Paramus, and yet I am now The Prince of the place.
Here’s something that has bugged me but even after a long time on the computer, I never Googled: how in the hell did a town in the middle of Penn’s Woods be named “Jersey Shore, PA” ?
Oh…I tried watching that MTV show, too. That is a good example of a show that has no appeal to older adults, if I am a barometer…I can see people under,say 22 years of age liking it, but for older people, nah…I only lasted 15 minutes before I went back to TCM.
Oh, yeah…this current Bogart festival on Wednesday is “the bee’s knees” .(apologies to that Geiko commercial) Last night, “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”—BADGES? BADGES??!!
coozledad said on December 17, 2009 at 1:49 pm
I haven’t been out to the name generators, but I’m pretty certain my Jersey Shore nickname would be Stonehenge, and I’m willing to bet Tiger Woods has laid pipe with someone named Crystal Forest. That’s an actual name of a subdivision out here. They got the Crystal part right.
nancy said on December 17, 2009 at 2:05 pm
Everyone knows blogs are the place for pie pictures. What are they thinking?
mark said on December 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm
“wondering why things haven’t stabilized or recovered in my absence?”
If your critic could channel Joe Biden, I suspect the response might be:
“The thing is, when we made that estimate, nobody understood just how bad things were with Nancy there. I mean nobody; not one of the experts who study these things. But now it turns out, and we all know, she did a lot more damage than was realized at the time.
We thought getting Nancy to leave would turn things around pretty fast, based on what everybody assumed about the state of the newspaper. But now we know it’s going to take longer. We haven’t got the newspaper where we all want it to be yet, but all that we do know says her departure saved or created 20,000 subscriptions- most of those in the saved category. If we hadn’t acted, as the people who created the mess were urging, we would have had a full blown crisis, and we avoided that.”
*I hope you know that’s a gratuitous jab at JB, not you. I enjoy your writing.
Peter said on December 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm
Yo peeps, Stevie Mozzarella here. Scary close to reality.
del said on December 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm
LAMary said on December 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm
When I lived in NJ, Paramus was where all the big malls were. I’m sure many more malls have come and go in Bergen County NJ since the, but Paramus (pronounced puh RAM us)had the Garden State Plaza, Bergen Mall, Paramus Parkand some sort of upscale mall that straddled the Paramus/Ridgewood border. There were also big freestanding stores like Alexanders and EJ Korvettes. I worked in both those places in high school.
LAMary said on December 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm
I might try that cheesecake. Remarkably, I have all the ingredients on hand. I rarely have heavy cream around, but I do now. And I just bought a megatub of cream cheese at Costco to accomodate my son’s bagel habit, but hell, he can use the canola oil spread for a few days. I’m going to do the graham cracker crust because I love graham cracker crust and I happen to have a lot of graham crackers from Trader Joes on hand.
ellent said on December 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm
Junior’s Cheesecake from Sheila Lukins’ “USA” cookbook is a similar recipe, but easier to execute, and it has a graham cracker crust.
brian stouder said on December 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm
Mary – if you try that pie, so will I!
LAMary said on December 17, 2009 at 7:15 pm
It’s probably going to be this weekend, Brian. I’m home sick today, fever and horrible cough, so I’ve been laptopping from the sickroom. Not a good day to take on a baking project.
Julie Robinson said on December 17, 2009 at 7:31 pm
LAMary, I think the cheesecake will be better with a graham cracker crust. Pastry crust just seems wrong. But I understand those New Yorkers also like their pizza thin, when the only way is a nice thick Chicago crust.
Jolene said on December 17, 2009 at 7:52 pm
It’s been years, but I made a cheesecake from a recipe much like this a few times. It was, indeed, a fair amount of work, but worth it. Was delicious. All my friends were impressed.
Deborah said on December 18, 2009 at 7:25 am
If you haven’t already, go to Sweet Juniper and read the latest Nixon era children’s story – My Dad Sells Insurance. It’s hilarious.