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.