Journal Entries

Cheesecake a la Spork!

Some people don't consider it a pie but it truley is one (or a custard if you must insist), so, here's a recipe for quite possibly the world's simplest cheesecake:

24 oz. of cream cheese
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 a cup of sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Unsweetened Butter

Electric beater
9" springform pan
large roasting pan
large mixing bowl
Waxed paper
Four feet of aluminum foil
an oven

Variations on ingredients:
The lemon essentially makes this a lemon cheesecake- the flavouring is quite quite powerful. If you shy away from the flavour you could just up the amount of vanilla or you could add some brewed coffee (yumm) or perhaps some artifical flavouring (orange, peppermint, strawberry, you name it!). Just don't use strawberry juice or likewise as it will make your cheesecake an odd colour. If you would rather have jam or fresh fruit simply layer them into the finished mixture or add them when you are poring the mixture into the pan. (I would recommend holding off adding the fruit until the cake is finished baking though, as it is far easier and more presentable if you spread the jam or layer the fruit on top of the finished product).

If you can't have sugar, use splenda. Splenda measures out the same as sugar and is the most natural tasting sweetner out on the market (it is made from sucrose, not saccarine). If you have nutrasweet you need to sweeten to taste as it is far sweeter than sugar.

This cheesecake is crustless but you can crush some graham crackers or Nilla (vanilla bisquits) and place on the bottom of the pan if you can't abide a crustless cheesecake.

Have your cream cheese set out on the counter, making sure it is quite soft (setting it out for three hours or so is plenty enough tiime). Also, make sure that your eggs are at room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare your springform pan. To do this take your stick of unsalted butter and coat the sides and the bottom with a generous portion. Then take your wax paper and form two layers on the bottom of the pan (they don't have to be perfect circles, though if you are picky simply take the ring off of the springform and place it over the wax paper, drawing a circle on the inside of the ring onto the paper). Now that that's done, take your aluminum foil and cut it in half and lay the pieces in a cross shape, layering one over the other. Place the pan in the center of the cross and fold up the foil around the pan, curving it around the top. Make sure it is tight around the pan!! This acts so that water won't get in your cheesecake once it is placed in the water bath.

Now that your pan is prepared on to the mixture!

Take your cream cheese and begin to whip it with the beater. Now you will realise how truly important having your cream cheese softened really is! Once you've got it softened up a bit more, add the sugar- the whole thing at once. Then keep on mixing and beating until the mixture moves about easily, with no lumps whatsoever. This will take some time- don't worry about overbeating!

Now that your the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is creamy start adding the eggs, one egg at a time. Don't be brave and crack them into the mixture- use a seperate bowl instead: nobody likes a surprise crunch in their dessert! Once they are incorporated you will notice that the mixture has a nice yellow colour and it is getting quite liquidy- Don't Panic! This isn't like a pudding batter. It will firm up in time.

Now add your vanilla, sour cream, lemon juice (or other flavouring) and zest. Once they are incorporated simply pour the mixture into your springform pan. As you may notice it pours out like a cake batter- quite liquidy yet still having a healthy solid colour.

Place the springform pan into the center of your roasting pan and set on the edge of your oven's rack. Now take a healthy amount of water and pour it into the roasting pan SLOWLY. You do not want it to splash on the cheesecake. When the water is about an inch up on the side of the springform pan you are all set (you may notice that the pan is floating a bit- it will be fine, trust me) except for maybe one last thing...

Cracking. Yes, even though it is baked at such a low temperature, your cheesecake can get a bit dry on the top resulting in a cracked "roof." To prevent this simply dip your finger in the water bath and sprinkle some on top of the cheesecake.

Now, close the oven and bake for 1 hour. At the end of the hour turn off the oven but DON'T OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!!! Your cheesecake isn't done baking. There's enough heat in the oven and water to continue baking for another hour (that's 1 hour). When that hour is up you're all set. Take it out and ... okay. I lied. You're not all set. Unfortunately, your cheesecake still needs to set and to have the right texture and firmness it will need to stay in your fridge over night. I know I know. All that time and you STILL can't eat it?

Well, trust me, the wait is truly worth it.

Now that your cheesecake is set you can take it out of the pan and place it on a platter or plate. The side should come off rather easily but the bottom is another story. You will most likely need to flip your cheesecake onto the platter and pry off the bottom. Once you get one side of the bottom lifted off the rest should come off easily. Now just peel off the wax paper and you're set!


If that doesn't do it for you you can always add jam or fruit to the top (as mentioned above) or you can get some whipped cream and scoop it over the cheesecake (mmmm). For whipped cream, take two cups heavy cream, two teaspoons of vanilla, and a tiny bit of sugar (or other sweetner). Whip on high speed until soft peaks for and you're set.


Discuss this Journal entry [3]

Latest reply: Jan 21, 2003

Im_ossible! All of my _'s kee_ disa__earing!

It's true! Every time I _athetically try to ty_e a word that has the letter _ in it, the letter ends up missing! _**s! What have I done to deserve this kind of thing?

Discuss this Journal entry [24]

Latest reply: Jun 3, 2002

Im_ossible! All of my _'s keep disa__earing!

It's true! Every time I _athetically try to ty_e a word that has the letter _ in it, the letter ends up missing! _**s! What have I done to deserve this kind of thing?

Discuss this Journal entry [1]

Latest reply: Jun 3, 2002

The Story Thus Far

I'm writing again for an assignment. As usual, I am writing about something which I shouldn't be writing about, and have near no knowledge of. Anywho, here it is. Comments are appreciated, any changes that you wish to be made will be received, and any crumbs on my fresh pages will result in a beheading.

Thank You. And yes, I know it is horrible and my perspective is particularly horrid; what can I say? It is impossible for me to write in the first person.

Also, if you do read this, what do you draw from the character? Physical characteristics, personality, etc.... Do you like her? Can you empathise with her?

Now.... for real:

I don’t know why I keep getting talked into going out with Frank. We’ve been separated for over a year and he still calls me every Thursday night asking what I’m doing for the weekend. And of course, I tell him the truth: that I am doing absolutely positively nothing, though I’m thinking about penciling in a suicide attempt on Sunday evening, possibly something involving carbon monoxide, three packs of Parliaments and a bottle of Skyy Vodka. So he ends up talking me into an evening out with some acquaintance of his, someone that I will absolutely positively adore. As he prattles on the other end of the phone my mind races for an excuse, any excuse, to get a moment’s rest on the one of my nights off. But of course nothing comes to mind. I just can’t lie to him any more… which is ironic, since he couldn’t seem to stop lying to me while we were dating. I don’t know what it is- whether my voice screams out how pathetic and lonely I am or if he has a truth detector tapped into his phone: he knows what I’m going to say even before the thought fully forms in my mind. I try letting the machine pick up but then I know he’ll know I’m avoiding him. I pace in front of the answering machine, praying that it’s a wrong number or my boss calling to ask me to work on Saturday- anything that will get me out of another pity date. In the end I always pick up, with some excuse like “Oh, I just got out of the shower” or “Hey, you just barely caught me- I was heading out the door.” This time he’s found “the perfect man” for me. I, of course, humor him on the off chance that he has actually listened to me and found the man of my dreams, namely a rich, charming intellectual man who happens to be homosexual but still wouldn’t mind being my sugar daddy. A girl can hope, right? Anyway, he tells me this guy’s name is Rick and we’re all going for Thai on Saturday. Joy.

Frank set dinner reservations at five thirty. Maybe I should say that again. Five thirty!! Who has dinner at five in the afternoon? I’m lucky if I wake up by three and they want to eat at five? Putting my gripes aside, I vow to enjoy myself this evening, even if it takes a little help from Mr. Beam.

I arrive fifteen minutes early, hoping to scope out the lobby in case a hasty exit is needed. Instead my plans are dashed as Frank and his newest concubine, Tilly, are already waiting for me. Pleasantries are exchanged and Frank suggests we sit ourselves at the bar as Rick will be about thirty minutes late. Oh? I perk up, having found an obvious flaw in this Rick person. Just as I’m beginning to enjoy this character flaw, Frank chimes in saying that Rick has spent most of the day in the hospital and had to cover an extra shift. An extra shift? Things are looking up- he’s a doctor!! He could come in with a gimp leg, four teeth and hair slicked back with a quart of grease- I’d still have him if he’s a doctor. Tilly, obviously seeing this exact moment as the perfect one to squash my dreams under her 12 1/2 inch heels, perks up and says that he’s a male nurse. Not just a nurse, a male nurse. Seeing my anguish the bartender asks me if I’d like something to drink; I tell him to surprise me.

Rick shows up around six and introduces himself to me. His hair is shoulder-length, he lacks facial hair, he’s not Hispanic and he’s a good three inches taller than me; he obviously doesn’t know that he lacks every quality of the stereotypical male nurse. He smiles while we make small talk, keeping eye contact the whole time. He hasn’t grimaced so far, so I take it that my looks are acceptable to him. He also completely fails to notice the four empty glasses in front of my stool- this man is a prince! Frank starts to tell a few jokes and we all laugh at his asinine attempts to break the ice. With impeccable timing our waiter shows up and says that they’re finally ready to seat us. He comments that not very many people come in this early unless they’re senior citizens. I ask the bartender to send another drink over to our table.

Our booth is surrounded by a sea of seniors enjoying the early bird special. I imagine them savoring every bite not knowing if this will be their last, gumming every bit of Thai noodle as if their very life depended on the proper mastication and gestation of this meal. While watching one couple I notice the man’s face start to contort, his cheeks passing from red to magenta. I start to get up in horror, thinking this man is choking to death when he clears his throat and spits a glob of mucous into his napkin. The woman sitting across from him pats his hand and passes him a clean napkin. Another couple, mistaking a space of uncrowded carpet as a dance floor, stumbles to their feet and starts slow dancing (Frank tells me that they’re playing country music on the speakers). The woman ambles in place while the man gyrates his hip, putting most of his weight on his cane, not his feet; this lasts for five minutes until the woman becomes flushed and takes her seat again, obviously having enough excitement for one evening. Most of the seniors are coupled up, only a few are scattered here and there, alone. Some read books to themselves, enjoying a cup of coffee that affords them five hours in an air-conditioned room; others make repeated trips to the hot food bar, sneaking extras into Tupperware packages that they’ve stored in their purses or coat pockets. And it is these people that I can relate to, not the couples whose lives have become dull and monotonous, conditioned to the routines of their life partner. I think I’d rather be old, miserable and alone then old and miserable because of another person. Because that’s what it boils down to- a life spent with another person builds a contempt that both people feel. Choices that were put off, time that can never be regained, a life with little to look forward to, other than the early bird specials at the local eateries.

My grandmother, who I visit far more often than my own mother, has preached the virtues of the solo life since I was eleven years old, much to my mother’s chagrin. My mother would point to couples on the street, happily married with a baby between them, and tell me how wonderful it is to start a family. My grandmother would then point to a passing car where a man and woman would be in a heated discussion, the woman eventually stopping the car, kicking the door, and walking into the nearest shoe shop or ice cream parlor; she’d then chuckle and tell me that men and women weren’t meant to spend their lives together while she would introduce statistics on the amount of spousal abuse cases brought into court every year, and the current divorce rate. God bless her! My mother, obviously disgusted and disgraced by my dear granny, would then bring up my grandmother’s two marriages. Granny, undeterred by my mother’s obvious insult, always stuck to the fact that her first marriage was the result of an incident where she was drunk and obviously taken advantage of, resulting in my Uncle Phil. “Way back then,” as Granny had a fondness of saying, “it was proper for a man to marry a girl if she got knocked up.” Soon after their marriage and my uncle’s birth the two separated, mostly due to my grandmother’s insistence that her husband provided an income to the family. So, she moved away, pregnant with her second child, to another state where she met her second husband, Dick. She said that she stayed with him mostly because of the implications of his name, to which my mother would always blush and reply that she shouldn’t say such things around a child. Dick, my grandmother would admit, was a sweet man, taking her first two children as his own and fathering another three (including my mother). They were together for ten years until Dick started drinking. She told me that he would often come home drunk, calling her Shirley and busting things around the house. The first time he hit her she took a skillet and hit him in the crotch, pushed him in the tub and high-tailed it to a friends house. And that was the last night she spent with Dick. I, being rather impressionable, took a liking to my grandmother after she related these particular exploits to me. Being a young teenager I was quite understandably smitten with the idea of hitting a man in the crotch with a frying pan; I was ready to try the same on the drop of the hat, if the opportunity ever presented itself. After that my Grandmother raised her five children on her own, working a job in a bar and a sewing factory, never again dating another man. This obviously left an impact on my mother, as she has never been without a man in her life since the age of sixteen.

The rest of the evening was spent in a drunken stupor. It started out nice enough, casual conversation passing back and forth between Frank, Tilly, Rick and myself but then the conversation got away from me, as it usually does; there’s nothing like listening to people rant about social ills, economic woes and political turmoil, especially when you can ‘t keep on top of the conversation. I consider myself a knowledgeable enough person but I just can’t bring myself to consider philosophical debacles and social quandaries over appetizers and salad. I came to dinner hoping to have some fun, not be weighted down for the rest of the evening by over stimulated conversation. Then again, maybe it was the fact that Rick said he voted for Bush and was against abortion that turned the tides for the evening… either way, I enjoyed the rest of my dinner enjoying Tom Collins’ company.

At around seven Rick excused himself, explaining that they were down three shifts at the hospital and had to fill in; I wish I had brought my violin.... Saying everything but “Huzzah” and “Don’t let the door hit you where the lord split ‘ya,” I bid Rick adieu and toasted his backside before downing a fuzzy navel. Before I have a chance to make my way back to the bar Frank is able to intercept me and he rushes me out of the restaurant and into his car. Frank is convinced that if, in my “current state,” I was to ride home in a taxi I’d either end up raped and murdered or in Newark (or some combination thereof), so he starts heading towards my apartment explaining that it is time to call it a night. I spend the eight-block drive back to my apartment avoiding all eye contact with Frank and Tilly; I’ve made such an ass of myself tonight. I know that Frank will remember this night for years to come, archiving this dinner as yet another failed attempt to prevent the eventuality of a little essay I was developing called “Why Beth will Die Alone.” Thinking I had passed out, Tilly turned around and tapped my leg with her bony fingers until I finally whipped my head around to face her and glared with what I hoped to be a silencing look. Obviously mistaking my open hatred for a slightly passed-over glance, Diane beamed “Well, I think that went well.”

My stomach and I spent the rest of the wasted evening engaged in an awkward stand-off; whenever it threatened to rid itself of the volumes of alcohol I had temporarily stored there I reminded it that the ambulance was on speed dial and I now knew a male nurse who would almost certainly gain some sliver of pleasure from pumping the contents of my stomach. We agreed that neither of us were fond of this scenario and, agreeing to a temporary truce involving a few swills of Pepto, a warm wash cloth, four Advil, three well-placed pillows and a personal promise that I would never imbibe alcohol again, we spent the rest of the evening enjoying repeats of Matlock.

In a perfect world Sundays would be spent in bed until three in the afternoon; this would only be followed by a long bath and the remainder of the afternoon being spent with the Sunday paper (particular attention being given to the Want Ads). However, as I am continuously, ridiculously reminded, this is not a perfect world. No, instead of a much needed rest, my stomach and I were forced to arise at nine in order to meet my mother at her country club for brunch.

My mother is not a wealthy woman. She did not come from money nor did she marry into it. However, that is not to say that my mother is not a woman of class (self-actualized).

Occasionally, when I’m feeling especially masochistic or if my personal source of embarrassment and degradation (mom) is out of town, I’ll go into the bathroom and dig out my scale. Most bathrooms I’ve had the pleasure [and oft misfortune] of visiting have scales in some esteemed, easily accessible spot. Right out there in the open. They look as natural in these bathrooms as the toilets do. My bathroom, however, shows no visible signs of a scale ever being used in the room, let alone one being stored somewhere amongst the strewn towels and toiletries. Instead, I keep my scale on the top of the medicine cabinet, stored underneath a layer of oversized beach towels and old swimwear. And it is to this spot that I venture whenever I feel like giving myself a kick in the ass- this has been happening a lot more frequently since Frank took my personal life on as his little “project.”

Weighing oneself is an art form that takes years to perfect. You can’t just grab the scale, set it to zero and throw it on the floor and go for it. Instead, one has to finesse the scale, treating it as you would a potential father-in-law: make no threatening, vague statements, be agreeable, and have plenty of liquor at hand. Taking my scale down and giving it a good dusting (aka wiping a used washcloth over the surface), I set the scale to zero and bring it out into the living room. Most people would just weight themselves there on the spot but personally the bathroom isn’t exactly my ideal spot to get naked. Heck, if I have to strip off my clothes and straddle something I’d rather not have a mirror sitting right in front (or worse- behind!) of me. Also, I’d rather be accepted into a plush carpet after fainting dead away from shock then onto grouted tiles that haven’t seen a mop since Carter was President. I can just imagine what would happen if I did faint on the bathroom floor; if by some pure chance my falling body avoided the porcelain sink, toilet or bath, and the impact of the tiled floor left me alive, I’m certain that the bacteria would finish off what’s rest of me. My neighbors would walk past my apartment, noticing the growing pile of newspapers outside my door and they would make passing inquiries to their friends and who ever they could corner in the lobby. Rumors would fly how I’d finally met a nice handicapped man who loved me for who I am and that I’ve abandoned my rent controlled apartment for a nice home in the suburbs. I imagine only two weeks would go by before they’d break down my door- not to see if I was alive, mind, but so they could vacate my belongs and make a bid for a new resident. They’d eventually make their way into the bathroom, finding my body on the floor. They’ll stare at my fat pimpled ass for a few moments, remembering what a quiet and thoughtful girl I was; they’ll then proceed to push my corpse aside and examine the flooring for cracks and bill my mother for regrouting. Having a person die in an apartment on this street is akin to having Consumer Reports give a testimonial. Brochures will be distributed to local realestators citing the tragic death of a sweet handicapped woman; the place will sell within a matter of hours and a small plaque commemorating my memory will be placed in the lobby. The inscription will read: “In Memory of Lisabeth Scmitz (4B) - A Woman of Few Words but Great Girth.”

Maybe I’ll weigh myself tomorrow….

Discuss this Journal entry [5]

Latest reply: May 15, 2002


I received a phone call from a certain somebody last night. It was completely unexpected- quite a shock.

I suppose I deserved a bit of a jolt (as I hate talking on the phone- the reason stems mostly from the fact that my voice can best be desribed as a strange hybrid of a seven year old gay Brasilian who suffers from nasal blockage- only twice as bad) as I most likely more than surprised the person who received the gift in the mail. I admit, it might have been too ~too~ if you understand my meaning, but I am a gift giver. I can't help it. I imagine there is a self-help group out there for people like me but if I were to join I would end up bringing goodies for everyone. However, I think it may have unsettled this person a bit. And rightly so.

However a scandelous gift giver I am (I should stop- I have student loans and bills up the whazoo- but, you make it too easy to buy gift!!! Darn you!) and however much I want to underplay my gift giving, this person was really deserving of this gift. Countless hours I have spent conversing via h2g2 with this individual and my experience here, as well in life, is richer for it. A very special person indeed, I don't think they realise the impact they have on my life at this moment (I find myself in a bit of a formulative, tentative part of my life- diversion is not only welcome, without it my sanity would greatly suffer).

The gift is for a great friend- one that I hope to keep for some time. If it is enjoyed even a quarter as much as I enjoy this person's company than it will be a gift that was wisely given.

And if you're truly a nosy person, you will no doubt find out who this person is if that person ever replies to this and you feel the need to read.

Voyeurism is welcome, however beware of the dog.

Discuss this Journal entry [162]

Latest reply: Apr 2, 2002

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Researcher U40888

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