The other day I stumbled upon a website that generates blog titles. I was looking for inspiration rather than anything else, not sure what to write about in my next post. Two of the titles generated were:
Why vegetables beat peanut butter on pancakes
Why you shouldn’t eat summer in bed
Such excellent titles I’m sure you agree…think in future I’ll stick to other ways of selecting titles and subjects…
Switching on a podcast to take my mind off what summer would taste like with peanut butter (why peanut butter should always be served with summer), I really enjoyed an episode from from A Taste of the Past on Handwritten Recipes and Marginalia. It was about the joy of handwritten recipes, the memories they ignite and their links to the past. The podcast was an absolute delight, and is really well worth catching, along with Rozanne Gold’s recipe column on Handwrittenwork.com
Anyway, it got me thinking. I have no handwritten recipes from my mother (not a good cook) or my grandmothers (one who never cooked and one who once sent a handwritten cake recipe to my mother just after World War 2 when there was still rationing, requiring an abnormally large number of eggs). There were no family recipes and no special dishes that we would make feast days and holidays. That doesn’t mean food was secondary – there was always an abundance of fresh vegetables, my mother’s stew (which I loved and later discovered that its special taste was due to Oxo* cubes) and of course, my father’s occasional Sunday afternoon pierogi making. But there were no handwritten recipes passed on through the generations.
What I do have though is my own handwritten recipe book from my teenage years. Many of the recipes were written down and never made (alas…I show the same trait now on Pinterest), but the one below was not only made, but my own invention, derived from combining a couple of other recipes. There were several variations on this cheesecake, including one I remember with ginger and a topping of crushed pineapple. The recipe was full proof too.
I try to avoid dairy where at all possible these days, but have an urge to make it again just to remind myself what it was like, and perhaps serve with strawberries or blueberries. If I do, I’ll let you know.
And why was it called Easter Road Cheesecake? Well, it was the street where we lived.
And next time you seek inspiration for a blog post, switch on the radio or a podcast, otherwise you’ll end up writing about eating summer in bed with peanut butter.
*Two footnotes: I normally used – I think – Philadelphia cream cheese. For non-British readers, Oxo cubes are a beef flavoured stock cube that have been around for well over a hundred years.