Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So. Thanksgiving. It's never been a favorite holiday of mine, although you can't really go wrong with a celebration centered around eating especially tasty food with folks that you love. I suppose the Thanksgiving obsession with football (which I disliked before four years of marching band membership during which I was required to attend all of the high school's football games) and turkey (it's okay, but not fabulous to me).

However, I do like dessert. Specifically, pie. You see, although my favorite baked good to make is the lovely muffin, my favorite baked treat to eat is pie. Mmm. Favorite kinds of pie are apple, with pecan and pumpkin coming in at a close second and third. Mmm. Are you hungry yet? Because all this talk of pie makes my tummy rumble.

The Best Husband Ever and I are spending the holiday with his family. I couldn't decide what dish to bring, however. I wish I felt brave enough to tackle a pie, but I just didn't have it in me. However, I did find this very intriguing recipe for vegetarian Italian cheesecake. I decided to try it.

For the crust, I spied Honey Maid's holiday-themed gingerbread graham crackers at the store and couldn't resist. (By the way, the graham crackers taste okay. If you want graham crackers, get the plain ones, and if you want gingerbread, eat a gingerbread boy. I don't think the combination is necessary or adds anything particularly great to the munching world.) Instead of soy cream cheese and soy sour cream, I used the fat free regular versions of each. I forgot to buy lemon zest and didn't have any on hand, so I just squirted some lemon juice into the food processor (the first time I used the lovely appliance -- how exciting!) and hoped for the best.

"Hoped for the best" -- I would say that sums up my current feelings about this cheesecake quite precisely. My kitchen is filled with the pleasant aroma of baked cheesecake, and I think the cheesecake looks quite beautiful, if not exactly how cheesecake traditionally appears. However, before throwing the thing into my oven, I took a little taste of the uncooked filling mixture and -- it tasted rather bland. Perhaps the taste of the crust, which I found much more pleasant and sweet, will cook into the filling. Or maybe the heat will magically activate the sugar or some hidden secret that will turn this rather average dessert into something amazing and delicious as well as healthy. Only time will tell. The cheesecake is currently setting in the refrigerator, possibly transforming into a paragon of cheesecake, or perhaps just stewing in its own mediocrity. I will wait and hope for the best and be thankful that I live in a society where I have the luxury of playing with my food.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King