Mom died in January of 1999 but she left behind a great recipe for a cheesecake that was, well, to die for.
It wasn’t your typical cheesecake. It was light and airy and more pineapple than cheese and she almost always made it when family came to visit. Especially me.
It had a graham cracker crust and it was topped with graham cracker crumbs. In between was the pineapple cheesecake part that literally melted in your mouth and left that little tingle of pineapple tang in your mouth. It was so good that you had to let it set in the refrigerator overnight to allow it to ‘set up’, enhancing the anticipation and excitation of the salivary glands.
I’ve had it only twice since 1999, most recently about a month ago when my sister came from Phoenix visiting her son, Mrs. Dickson’s Pineapple Cheesecake Recipe in hand.
It wasn’t really Mom’s creation. She obtained the recipe from someone—a friend from church I’m guessing—when i was a young teenager. And it quickly became my favorite desert and she always made sure there was some left for me to take with me after I left home.
Anyway, I arrived at my nephew’s house found myself alone with the cheesecake. I couldn’t resist. I ceremoniously slid a large piece from the aluminum pan that had sat in the fridge for almost 12 hours!
It was just as I had remembered. Light and fluffy and I devoured it in a matter of minutes. As always, I pressed the remnant graham cracker crumbs onto the fork to finish it off.
My nephew and sister arrived a short time later and immediately went to retrieve the Dickson delicacy from its chilly holding cell.
But the damage had been done. My haste had made waste since the aluminum pan was now heavier on one side than it was on the other. The pan was now unwieldy and awkward and the center of gravity had been disturbed. My unwitting nephew was the victim of this as he slid the aluminum pan from the glass shelf and the laws of physics took over.
The pan tipped in his hand as he lifted it from its designated 9” x 12” rectangular slot and tumbled head over graham cracker crust to the linoleum kitchen floor.
Fortunately, my nephew’s wife is an excellent housekeeper and we immediately declared the five second rule in effect. I rushed to the kitchen and grabbed the nearest spatula and without hesitation, I began troweling the treasure back into the pan like a bricklayer. It was too precious and too delicious to waste and I wasn’t going to miss out on this opportunity. Pineapple cheesecake like this just doesn’t come along every day.
But Mom is probably spinning in her grave because Mom, too, was an excellent housekeeper. But she would never eat her own cheesecake once it had been on her pristine floor.
She would just make another one.