January 31, 2011

Cribbage and Cheesecake

This past summer, while in the open ranch land somewhere on the Colorado/Wyoming border, our children were introduced to the game of cribbage by one of our church members. His name is Rich.

The children love playing cribbage. It's a great game to reinforce math skills as well. So, ever since then, Rich and his father Bob, have come over every so often to our house to play cribbage.

Sam has become quite the cribbage master. He has even been known to beat Bob once in a while at the game. That doesn't happen too often for anyone because Bob has been playing this game for over 80 years!

Of course, every once in a while, Sam tries to count more points than he actually has. But, Rich is always quick to correct him.

Usually, when they come over, Rich will make us supper. He brings the main dish and we just have to provide the bread or salad and dessert. He is a tremendous cook. I have told him that he should have his own cooking show, because he has lots of personality as well.

On this particular evening, we were celebrating Rich's birthday. The boys, wanting to do something nice for Rich, decided to bake him a cheesecake. He likes cheesecake. (Seriously, who doesn't?)

I am a terrible cheesecake maker. I've only tried once, early in my cooking career, to make this dessert. It failed miserably. I've never tried since. So....the boys were in charge of this. And, I have to admit, I had doubts. Especially when I would overhear the conversation in the kitchen, "Dad, did you remember to put this ingredient in?" or "What did we do with the egg yolks? Did we throw them away?" or "Can we dig egg yolks out of the trash can?" ...

The only advice that I, the horrible cheesecake maker could give, was "Call your mom or your sister." After all, they are the cheesecake makers in the family. And, we were using Adrian's sister's recipe. Her cheesecake is to die for. So, the call was put out and I was left to hope that the boys could prove me wrong and have their dessert turn out okay.

This is what it looked like when they were done. It was beautiful. I was shocked. Really, really shocked! And happy. I now have cheesecake makers in the house! Yay!

Happy birthday Rich! We won't tell anyone how old you are....

Of course, a birthday in our house can't be truly celebrated until we sing "Happy Birthday" to them and add our own little rendition of "He's a Jolly Good Fellow"....

Doesn't it look wonderful? Aren't you hungry for cheesecake now? I am anxious for the boys to try this recipe again. And again. And again.

Andrea's Famous Cheesecake

18 graham crackers, rolled fine
2 T. butter
2 T. sugar

1 cup sugar
2 T. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs, separated
1 lb. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream

           Blend, sugar, flour and salt in a large bowl. Beat 4 egg whites until stiff and set aside. Add cream cheese to large bowl and blend. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and mix well. Add vanilla and sour cream and blend well. Fold in egg whites. Pour into springform pan and bake 1 hour at 325 degrees. Cool well before removing from pan. Refrigerate. Glaze with cherry pie filling or desired fruit filling. 

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