Friday, November 26, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake (A Small Story from Thanksgiving 2K10)

So normally, Chelsea and I don't head back to the motherland (Massachusetts) for Thanksgiving with our families.  Normally, we stay in Chicago and celebrate with friends.  The first few years we did this, it was mostly a matter of practicality.  Fresh out of college, neither of us had alot of money, and flying home for Thanksgiving AND Christmas was just too expensive.

The thing is, over time, our little orphan Thanksgivings have evolved into a celebration of our second family- the people we went to college (the University of Massachusetts Amherst) with, people I've met in Chicago through improv, and our many other friends who we have met living in the Windy City.

Now, over time, we've developed our own Thanksgiving traditions- like every year I make the turkey.  Every year we end the night playing some kind of card or board game, and for the last few years, Chelsea has made pies.

If you know Chelsea, you should know she doesn't do anything halfway.  For Hallowe'en, she decided to dress up as Lara Croft (Chelsea is obsessed with "Tomb Raider").  Did she go out and buy a pre-made Lara Croft costume?  No.  She made the costume herself, and went as far as buying real gun holsters for her legs.  If you ever want to know why we have gun holsters in our apartment, that's why.

In terms of her annual Friendsgiving urban family desserts, Chelsea really outdid herself this year.  She made:

An apple pie- pretty straight up.  Homemade crust, a combo of Granny Smith apples and Honey Crisps, delicious as always.

Peanutbutter Cookies- Which were delicious.  AND shaped like coat buttons.  Chelsea called them "Coraline Cookies".

and the big one:

A pumpkin cheesecake made from scratch- now let's get this out of the way- the cheesecake was beyond delicious.  It was rich, and full of great Autumn flavor.  The reason this cheesecake requires special attention though, is the amount of work that Chelsea put into it.  After making the crust (from scratch) and making the cheesecake mix (which required drying out some pumpkin puree amongst other odd steps), Chelsea loaded the whole thing into a springform pan, loaded the pan into a bigger pan filled with water, and put that into the oven to cook.  Once it was done, it had to cool to room temperature before- in the middle of the night mind you- Chelsea got up and put into the refrigerator to cool further.

Look, I realize baking is slightly off topic for this blog.  I just wanted to tell this story mostly because I wanted to point out that Chelsea is an asskicker.  An asskicker who I'm lucky enough to call my own.  Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

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