This morning I made a cherry cheesecake (I’ll give you the recipe at the end of this post). When I ejected the beaters from the hand mixer, I held them in my hand and immediately paused, admiring the sweet, cheesy goodness which thereupon clung. At the same moment I was instantaneously transported back to the first house in which I can recall living.
I was three- or four-years-old.
My mother had a large stand mixer. I think it was a Sunbeam, but there’s no way I’d remember for sure. What I do remember is that it was white and had a large, black rotating selector on the rear for changing the speeds. The thing I recall most about it was the fear she instilled within me about getting too close to the electronic monster.
I can still picture it on the counter a foot or two above my head. Within the large bowl was always the beginnings of something delicious; most often the gloppy mixture would be scraped into a few round baking tins and then be slipped into a hot oven to be transformed into a cake. While my little brain quivered with anticipation over the imminent dessert, even more looming was my eagerness for the gooey mixer blades. I excitedly floated nearby while she added ingredients and meticulously rotated the bowl around the whirling blades.
Each time my eagerness got the better of me and I stood on tiptoes, trying to peer into the bowl, she’d place a hand on my arm or shoulder and admonish me to “get back!” I don’t recall her exact description of my possible demise, but, obviously, it was characterized by me instantly becoming miniscule, bloody pieces of former me. So, with her warnings, I did my best to curtail my expectancy.
Ah… then she twisted the back of the mixer and the blades stopped. She raised the mixer back onto its stand and began scraping the creamy goodness from the blades, letting it fall back in with the rest. But she could never get it all and it was for those remnants that I impatiently hovered in place but a few inches from the counter.
She handed me the blades and I clutched one in each hand with an eager expression comparable, I’m sure, to Howard Carter’s at the mouth of Tutankhamun’s tomb. I stood there in the kitchen, licking as much as I could from the blades, curling my tongue around behind each one. Always the most difficult part was trying to extend my osculatory muscle to the center post, pressing the blades deeply into my cheeks, straining so forcefully to reach every droplet that I felt a slight pain at its base. I’m not sure that I sometimes didn’t suffer a sprained tongue trying to lick the blades clean!
Children yearn for the time when they’re “big,” to only, as adults, then lament the all-to-quick passing of their precious youth. But, as I licked the blades this morning, I was happy that my tongue has grown with the rest of me and that I could easily extend it to the center post of the blades and lap up all the sweet cheesecake mixture.
Did I feel like a fool standing alone in the kitchen, licking cheesecake from the blades of a mixer? Nah. Nobody saw me and I wasn’t sure I’d have cared if they had. It was a simple, innocent pleasure and, once again, I reached across the decades into the last millennium and tasted the innocence of my childhood.
No-bake Cherry Cheesecake
- One pre-made Graham Cracker Pie Crust
- 2 packages 8oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
- 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 2 tbs. fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 can (14oz) Cherry Pie Filling
It’s best to make this in the morning or early afternoon. It takes a while to “set-up” in the refrigerator.
This dessert is really good. I got the recipe from my sister and I think she got it right off a package of cream cheese about 20 years ago!
In a mixing bowl, use a cake mixer to combine the room temperature Cream Cheese and Sweetened Condensed Milk. Once it is smooth, add the Vanilla and Lemon Juice and mix for a few minutes until all is creamy.
Gently pour into a pre-made Graham Cracker Pie Crust and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or even two or three, so the cheese mixture stiffens up a bit.
Remove Pie from fridge and gently pour Cherry Pie Filling over the top and put back in the fridge for at least another hour.
I’ve tried using Blueberry Pie Filling on this one and it’s ok, but the cherries are just perfect, so I recommend going with a sure thing your first time out!
After dinner, all you need to do is slice and serve!