WRITTEN ON November 16th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Baking, Cheese, Dessert, Holiday

The guy at the end of the hall is my least favorite person on the planet, and I don’t even know his name.

He’s one of those know-it-all types that would argue that the sky is green and everyone else is color-blind. He’s also extremely unhygienic (which wouldn’t bother me really if he wasn’t such a jerk). If I see him walking to the elevator, I make a beeline for the stairs. Unfortunately, the other day I wasn’t so lucky.

He burst into the building and sprinted across the lobby, throwing the full (sizable) weight of his body into the elevator door just as it was about to close. He made it. He started asking when Kevin and I were going to get a dog (he’s one of those dog owners who takes personal offense if, heaven forbid, someone doesn’t like dogs. Which we do, we just don’t have one). Then he asked when we were going to have a baby. Um, what? Saved by the bell, the elevator got to our floor and we both stepped out. As he unlocks his door, he says, “Well, dog or baby, either way you better get crackin…” and is gone. Just like that.

I was left standing in the hallway feeling…bereft. Hurt. Stupid. And so incredibly angry. Why is it that the words of a virtual stranger can have such a deep impact? I can’t stand this guy. Why did it bother me so much? Probably because he managed to hit the head of my most deeply buried nail. Is it that obvious to the world that there may be something missing in my life?

Of course we want to have a baby. What turns me into a madwoman is how everyone assumes it’s their business (and sadly, no matter how well meaning, Kevin will never be able to understand how much pressure a woman gets from everyone around her.  The menfolk just don’t bear the brunt of that one). If it all came from a place of love and concern, maybe I could handle that. But it doesn’t. Sadly, most of the time it comes from a place of judgment and gossip. Such is life I suppose.

Needless to say I was in serious need of comfort. I was alone in my apartment at noon on a Tuesday. Everyone else I knew was at work. So, I turned to four ladies who always manage to make me smile. They are full of wisdom and humor, and they know that no problem can be solved without cheesecake. That’s right folks. I whipped up this pumpkin cheesecake and turned on The Golden Girls. And I have to say, I felt whole lot better. The cheesecake worked.

That day, I made a pact with myself to think hard before speaking, because you never know how much you might hurt someone. Oh, and to take the stairs from now on, no matter what.

This one's for you, Blanche...

This one's for you, Blanche...

Cheerful Pumpkin Cheesecake
Makes one 9 inch cheesecake
Have all ingredients at room temp.  Butter a 9 inch springform pan, and preheat oven to 350.
For the crust:
¾ cup finely crushed ginger snaps
¾ cup finely crushed graham crackers
6 tbsp butter, melted
Combine butter and crushed cookies.  Press tightly into bottom of springform pan. Place on a cookie sheet.
For filling:
2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
Combine sugars, spices and salt. Whip cream cheese about 1 minute, add sugar mixture, whip until combined. Add eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla, mix.  Add pumpkin, mix until combined and smooth. Pour filling into pan, place pan, on cookie sheet, in oven.  Bake until middle is set but not cracked, about 55 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes before removing pan.  Store in fridge.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply