Posted on: January 21, 2008 8:40 pm

The Making of a Perfect Cheesecake

It may look simple, add a bunch of ingredients together, throw them in a pan and let it bake.  However, if you ever made a cheesecake you'd understand, it's not as easy as it seems, and the perfect cheesecake is always elusive.  It may happen a few times in a serious bakers time but not often, because there would be some tiny flaw, something that takes away that perfection and just makes it a great cheesecake.

How does one go about making that perfect cheesecake.  To be honest, I have yet to be able to do it, but I'll continue trying.  It's going to take time, I've tried recipe after recipe and I think I've found the right one for the basis.  Since then I've played with it, adjusted it.  Sometimes I was forced to use less quality ingredients, to save on costs.  It would turn out okay, even good...but not great, not perfect.  Then I'd get the right ingredients but it would either be underbaked or worse yet, overbaked.  Sometimes, when this occurred, they would be total losses, a toss in the trash and hope to do better with the next one.

I'll be honest, I think I've got it, or at least getting there.  It's a good recipe, reliable, basic.  Yet I want it to be great so I'll continue to experiment.  I've added ingredients to it, this liquor, that flavoring to see how well it would work.  Some flavors you'd think may not have worked, turn out surprisingly well, and others that seem they should, disappointment.  Often it comes out tasting very good, but when you pull it out of the oven, there's cracks in it, or worse, it falls apart when you cut that first slice, the crumb crust crumbling.  So instead of serving that piece to your guest, you hide in the shadows and devour it, enjoying it's taste.  It's not pretty but it sure taste good.

There was once I came close, it was supposed to go over to a friends house for dinner.  It was beautiful and when I came home from work, to my horror, a slice had been taken out of it.  So much for perfection.

Master baker Bill Bellicheck may have just come up with the perfect recipe.  He had a very good base and with some additions and subtractions, has the Patriots one game away from being the first undefeated team since the 1972 Dolphins.  It had taken him years of coaching to get to where he is this year.  Coming into the season, he had already a strong, quality team ready to contend.  With the addition of Randy Moss and Wes Welker to the WR corps, he brought just the right ingredients to give Tom Brady every option needed to make the offense perfect.  Already having an oline that protected him and a strong running back, the package became complete.  Add to that a solid defense and it makes, what seems to be an unstoppable force. 

There were times that it came close to cracking, but in the end, the Patriots prevailed, having gone the entire season without a loss.  Now with one game left, will the Patriots emerge from the Superbowl as perfect, or will that one slice be taken from it in the end?  Only time will tell, until then, it is still something that Patriots, and all fans of football can savor.


Category: NFL
Posted on: January 17, 2008 1:25 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2008 9:13 pm

Cheesecake, Family and Football

It's my personality, that when I find something that brings me immense pleasure, I latch onto it, savor it, enjoy it.  In short, I develop a passion for it.  It may be a certain style of music,  a book that I cannot put down and have to read over and over again.  Some passions dissipate, others hang on for a lifetime.

Cheesecake, I've carried the passion for a good, gourmet cheesecake since I first tasted one.  The more exotic, the better.  I'm not talking Sara Lee now, I'm talking a homebaked New York cheesecake that has fresh fruit piled on top, or an amaretto chocolate cheesecake decorated with chocolate shavings.  It is something that I will look forward to with excitement and anticipation and once in front of me, slowly savor each bite, tasting a bit of heaven.  Once finished, an instant sadness overcomes me and once again, I anticipate for the next time that I can enjoy another piece.

My greatest passion is the passion I carry for my husband and daughter.  Often they are the very air that I breath and the reason I get out of bed in the morning.  They have been my greatest pleasure and at times, my deepest sorrow.  The love that I have for them is unconditional and regardless of the ebb and flow in the dynamics between all of us, it is the love that we have for each other that pulls us all through even the most trying of circumstances.

It's often said that a woman cannot carry a passion for football because she cannot really play it.  It is true, there's very little opportunity in the US for a woman to play football, especially professionally.  The closest I've ever come to playing an actual football game were the touch football games that were played on the dorm lawns on Sundays before the NFL games.  The co-ed games that were used as an excuse to deliberately, accidentally grope the female members of the opposite team.  And it's true, a woman probably couldn't have the same passion that a man who has played the sport has, but can still have a passion for it. 

I've often been asked for tips on how to get a girlfriend or wife interested in football, in reality, this is something I cannot answer.  Having grown up in Western Pennsylvania, football tends to be the big thing there, whether it's high school, college or the NFL.  At the time, I was a team supporter more then a football supporter, watching only when my team played - whether it be the Steelers or my high school Jayhawks.  That began to change though when I left home.  I started watching other teams, especially the 49ers and the Dolphins, along with my beloved Steelers.  After all, I justified, Marino and Montana were both western PA boys.  In time, it grew into a love of the game, period. 

As I get older, I find myself following more, long after the year is over.  Where I once had no interest in the draft or who was acquired via free agency, I now follow it religiously.  This, in part, because of my husband.  This was something he taught me.  From there I started to watch the proceedings at the Combine and followed Scouts day.  Today I'm as immersed in the NFL and all things football almost as much as I am with my family. 

So my passion is the Steelers, but I'm still in love with the game and because of this, I'm still here, watching the teams race to February, having in mind who will go and sympathizing with the fans who's teams didn't make it. 

Welcome to my blog.  Perhaps this is the best place to start, a little background and a love for the game....(and no...this will not replace my Monday Morning Musings...I promise).

Category: General
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com