My first dedicated writing wasn’t for a blog…a diary…or a newspaper. It was letter writing. I wrote letters to my Uncle Mike. He was my favorite uncle — the cool one who could always make me laugh, who had stories of his latest travels, and who was always interested in hearing what was going on in my life. I was just a small, curly-haired girl who lived in a little town and whose greatest excitement was going to a movie at the local cinema. But somehow I always found something to write about, and Uncle Mike would always write back. My desire to write soon turned into a passion for writing, and it led me to college and a degree in English. It’s interesting to look back and to see where your dreams, hobbies, and goals began. Perhaps yours began with a penpal too…
This week, Uncle Mike is visiting from New York City, and I invited him to come over tonight for the ‘grand tour’ of the new home. My first thought was that I needed to treat him to some home-cooking. My second thought was of chocolate. He loves chocolate, and I do too, so I needed no further reasons. (That and when I began to look through my cookbooks, Nate started chanting “chocolate cheesecake… chocolate cheese”). Although I normally don’t try a new recipe when company comes over, I thought that chocolate cheesecake can’t be too hard. Right? I say, am I right?
I found a delectable recipe for chocolate cheesecake on the website for Philadelphia cream cheese. (Check out the link: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/philadelphia-double-chocolate-cheesecake-61703.aspx). I didn’t bother with the fresh blueberries they suggested as a topping, because blueberries and chocolate seemed kind of odd to me. Once I took the cheesecake out of the oven, however, I realized why they had added the fresh fruit. And suddenly I wished I at least had some whipped topping.
You know how cheesecakes tend to crack a little in the middle? Well, I pulled out the cheesecake and found myself staring at the Grand Canyon. My first thought was to find one of Nate’s old matchbox cars and to kind of place it falling off one of the cliffs. It could have been a dessert themed after the movie 2012. But that wasn’t really the feeling I was going for. So I did what any desperate cook does. I sliced the cheesecake before the company showed up, so that the cracks were not so apparent. Ahhh, so this is why so many cheesecakes have cute dollops of whipped cream or sprinklings of fresh fruit. It’s not for a decorative touch. It’s because chefs are sneaky and they’re trying to hide something.
The good thing is that Nate, Uncle Mike, my cousin Melissa, and her son Tyler all enjoyed the cheesecake. They didn’t mind that the squares were uneven, a bit jagged around the edges, and that there were no blueberries scattered across the velvety-chocolate goodness. This is one of the many reasons why I would cook for family any day. It’s not like you have the Iron Chef screaming over your shoulder and demanding perfection. It’s all about food, family, and fun.
And… drum roll please…my Uncle Mike brought a surprise for me straight from New York City… It’s a dainty, purple sweater with a fitted waist, delicate buttons, and feminine ruffle accents. And it’s from New York City! All the other tops in my walk-in closet are lowering their collars in shame. This is the real deal and I shall wear it with pure delight, dreaming of the day that yours truly is in New York City and experiencing the shopping experience first hand. He also had an adorable clothing article for my sister, but I can’t post any pics because she reads my blog and she hasn’t seen it yet. I will say that she’s going to love it.
Someday… Someday I will visit NYC for myself. 🙂