link to the recipe, bookmarked it, and moved on with my life, because I figured the tarts were not going to happen any time soon. It was true that a couple of days later we were having a bunch of family members over for dinner, but my husband was doing the cooking for that event, and I'd already decided not to make a dessert. However, on the morning of the dinner party, while the husband was out for a morning walk, the cheesecake invaded my brain, and before I knew what was happening, there I was in the kitchen getting out ingredients and pans.
The recipe has a graham cracker crust but I was going to make an almond flour crust instead. I had just added the flour and sugar to a mixing bowl, and was combining them when I noticed tiny black things in the bowl. Ugh. Ever since the worm fiasco, I'm really suspicious of anything that doesn't look exactly right. You might say overly suspicious. The black things weren't moving and didn't appear to have legs, but they were so tiny I had trouble noting the details. There were a number of them in the sugar jar and I fished one out, put it on a white surface, and looked at it with a (not so great) magnifying glass. It had a certain brown pattern on it. All the black things had the same pattern. Eeuww. I vaguely remembered seeing something like it before but couldn't place it. Was it some stage of insect development? I tossed the mix into the compost when, duh, I had a thought. I looked at the measuring spoon I had used in the sugar. Double DUH. The little black things were chia seeds left from when I'd added a spoonful to my smoothie, and some were still clinging to the bottom of the measuring spoon. How dumb is that? Have you ever looked at chia seeds closely? They are not solid black, but have a pattern on them. How embarrassing to admit this in public, but there you go — sense of humor trumps shame.
After wasting all that expensive almond flour, I decided to just make the cheesecake without a crust. I had also used up my small window of time with all the seed/bug nonsense, and had to get going on the cake or there wouldn't be enough time for it to chill. Instead of using the mini pans without a crust, it seemed more expedient to use one nine-inch pie plate — easier and quicker.
As you can see, the cheesecake was beautiful, but was it good? Of course it was good — it came from an Isa and Terry cookbook. It was enjoyed by all the guests. One guest asked if it contained rum — it didn't, but a question like that is always a good sign. However, I still have the memory of an extraordinary tofu cheesecake I used to make, the recipe for which is buried somewhere in my recipe collection. I remember including the cheesecake on a buffet at a dinner party I was hosting, and seeing one of the guests (an omnivore foodie) slicing a piece. I watched him place the cheesecake on his plate, cut a piece with his fork and raise it to his lips. I startled him when I yelled, "WAIT!" "It's not what you think," I said. "It's made with tofu."
"I like tofu," he answered mildly, and went on to eat it, and pronounce it the best cheesecake he'd ever had, tofu or not. I've never tasted anything that could compare, and someday I hope to find the recipe and make it again. Until then, chocolate galaxy banana cheesecake is A-OK — super easy to make, too, and works well even without a crust. The longer it chills, the better it tastes. You should try it! Here is a link to the recipe.
The Sumo orange
|The orange is sitting on an eight-inch plate.|
Have you ever had one of these? It's a Sumo orange — a cross between a mandarin and a California navel that took 30 years to develop. My son, who lives in California, told me about them, and suggested I try to find some at Whole Foods. It was good, but not as sweet as I was expecting, though the texture was appealing.
The oranges are quite large, seedless, and have a thick, bumpy skin which is very easy to peel. Sumo oranges have a short season, which is just about to end, so if you want to try one, get to Whole Foods ASAP.
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