I am not Waverly – Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake
The past weekend was my second BS weekend this year. It seems there is a lot of BS going on around me. No pun intended because that BS really is, um, that other BS. LOL! Okay, I admit that as much as I roll my eyes at such high-pitched pink giggling, my inner Hello Kitty loves the opportunity to be the Dessert Fairy.

There was the perfectly proper princess baby shower brunch in the private room upstairs at La Terza (more details on that to come later). Thankfully, I didn’t have to go anywhere near the diaper cakes (yeah, it scares me, too), but I did practice baking pretty in pink strawberries and cream and deep dark chocolate babycakes. In order to include the entire family, we had a Baby-cue the next day. That actually sounds kind of cannibalisitic, but it wasn’t. It was a family baby shower combined with a barbecue out on the patio at Mom and Dad’s. More details on the actual barbecue later, too, after I’ve recovered from those two, yes, two! back-to-back fun-filled days of diaper bags exploding into bottles, booties, and burping towels *gross* everywhere.

I tried to sit at the Guys’ Table on one end of my parents’ patio during dinner, which was a heated debate about college football with half of them USC alums and half of them who had been much smarter by going to various UCs. Is that offensive to you, Trojan? Good, it was meant to be. I’m gearing up for December 3rd when UCLA serves USC their own bristle-helmeted heads up on a platter. LOL! But the guys shooed me away because my very big Golden Bear/Bruin brain would have thrown off the balance. Since the Parents’ Table was inside, presumably suffering through Everything Comes from China, I ended up at the Girls’ Table on the other end of the patio, wrapped in a pretty little pashmina under the bigger heatlamp. Girls get cold easily, you know.

We finished gorging ourselves on galbee, jahp-chae, and a whole buffet of other Korean delicacies like…potato salad, and launched into the usual girlie after-dinner conversation. It went from, oh, I don’t know, everything from heavy vs. light foundation to mystic tanning to bats. Bats! Trust me, I have no idea how that topic came up in conversation either. When the discussion eventually turned to tick-tock biological baby clocks, I brought up dessert. *phew* Tactical aversion, but that was a mild mistake.

“Sarah…Are you Waverly? You are! You are Waverly, trying to take the worst crab! ”

That was my sister’s playful accusation when I sort of off-handedly remarked that the pumpkin cheesecake I had baked had turned out sort of *eh*.


My sister is really cute. She is a walking In-Style magazine, and though most would mistake that for her being a giggle-pink-ditzy-shopaholic-fashionista, she is actually a brilliant, unbelievably successful business woman who can afford to retire a little early to go shopping down Robertson for trendy maternity clothes and watch Oprah every day until Thanksgiving. But, as brilliant as she is, she confuses herself with movies, mostly because she falls in and out of sleep in all of them. She meant to accuse me of being June, not Waverly, who takes the bad crab during the Chinese New Year’s Dinner scene in The Joy Luck Club. That’s an inaccurate accusation anyway, because she really meant to accuse me of being Lindo, Waverly’s mom:

“As in the Chinese cook’s custom, my mother always made disparaging remarks about her own cooking…which she always served with pride….’It is too bad to eat.’ This was our family’s cue to eat some and proclaim it the best she had ever made.”

I swear that was not what I was doing when I suggested that we serve the apple and pumpkin pies that someone else had bought and brought instead.

Sometimes, I surprise myself and make something awesome. Usually, though, I live right down to my expectations and I make something that’s just okay. I definitely did not surprise myself with the cheesecake. Instead of making it the day before to chill and set in the refrigerator overnight, because of other *ahem* Saturday night activities that always seem to take priority, I baked it the morning of the baby-cue. It turned out fine, but it was just too soft, and we all know that no one likes it too soft. I protested. I aggressively encouraged Mom and my sisters to let it sit overnight in the fridge and they could eat it themselves the next day.

“Oh, Waverly, you always say things that, and it’s always fine.”

Waverly, June, whatever.

She’s pregnant, so I left her alone.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 djjewelz October 30, 2005 at 11:50 pm

Was that a joy luck club reference? :)


2 LisaSD October 31, 2005 at 2:18 am

What a lovely photo!


3 grace October 31, 2005 at 4:26 am

that looks soooo good!

sarah, i’m no longer joking and i will really buy some cupcakes from you. (; i don’t have an oven at home. ):


4 Eve November 1, 2005 at 6:38 pm

sarah-you actually WATCHED the joy luck club, aka a MOVIE????? lol!


5 Lady Amalthea November 3, 2005 at 7:45 pm

I’m so proud of myself for actually getting the reference!
How did the cake turn out, in the end?


6 sarah November 6, 2005 at 12:05 am

djjewelz: yeap. joy luck club, and eve, i actually read the book first, and TRIED to watch the movie, but didn’t watch the whole thing (tee hee)

anyway, thanks all, for the compliments :) the cheesecake turned out okay, but not perfect. it would have been so much better if it had been chilled overnight – it would have been firmer, and i think the spice flavors would have been more pronounced.


7 Eddie Lin November 7, 2005 at 4:23 pm

Cool. THE JOY LUCK CLUB was the first movie I ever worked on. I had to move to San Francisco for the job. I stayed up there for three years after the movie was wrapped. Good times.


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