Friday, March 02, 2007

when good cheesecake goes bad, or: I blame Mercury

Well, well, well, this has been an interesting week. Nothing earth-shattering, just general crankiness and a few more annoyances than usual, starting with the breakdown of our dishwasher and ending with a cheescake disaster with a couple of really good fights in between. I enjoy a good argument now and then, don't you?

I'm blaming it all on Mercury Retrograde. If you're astrologically inclined, you'll know what I'm talking about.

When we got the new kitchen we kept the the old dishwasher because it still worked perfectly well. Or so we thought. On Monday night we went to run it and noticed that it wasn't filling with water. We did all the usual stuff like checking the pump and cleaning the filter, but nothing helped. Thinking it might have been a blocked water hose, Mr. M poked around a bit and finally got it going again. Fine.

No, not fine. On Monday night at about 11 p.m. I turned it on and, oh no, no water. Mr M took another look, checked the internet and decided something was seriously wrong, something not really worth fixing since the machine was pretty old anyway. So there's me taking all the yucky, gunky dishes out of the machine again and washing them by hand at 11:30 p.m. when I had actually been thinking about going to bed fairly early for a change. And that machine was FULL. I know lots of people don't even have a dishwasher and I don't mind washing dishes all that much, but I do like to have fair warning. Good thing Jay Leno was on on CNBC Europe so I could laugh while I was up to my elbows in suds. We got a new machine on Tuesday and all is well.

Wednesday came along, Boy14's birthday. He had asked me to make him a cheesecake and we chose a chocolate swirl version. No problem, I thought. I had a hair appointment at noon on Wednesday and wanted to get the cake done before that. About half an hour into the preparations things started going horribly, awfully wrong and I knew the cheesecake was going to fail miserably. "Hey", I thought, "I splurged on the best cream cheese money can buy [you know the one - starts with Phil and ends with adelphia] but this is looking soupy, way too soupy, and just plain weird. And why isn't the chocolate mixing in properly, it's all lumpy. And what's with the colour anyway? This isn't working at all." I baked it nevertheless, cooled it a bit and popped it into the fridge just seconds before I had to leave to get my hair done.

Luckily my hair stylist didn't transform me into a puffed-up debutante this time so I could safely venture into the supermarket after my appointment and pick up a few packages of cheap-o cream cheese to see if that would work better. I decided to try out a different recipe and the planets must have been correctly aligned this time because it worked out perfectly.


Behold! Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake!!

So that's one Pisces birthday down, two more to go - Mr. M celebrates this Sunday and Boy10 has his special day exactly a week later. Lots more baking to do...

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24 Comments:

At March 02, 2007 2:54 PM, Blogger mar said...

Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake! never heard of it but it looks won.der.ful!!!

 
At March 02, 2007 2:55 PM, Blogger hexe said...

Hope it was a happy birthday! Sorry about the dishwasher.

 
At March 02, 2007 4:19 PM, Blogger Antipodeesse said...

Oh Baby! I'm inviting you for my next birthday (you bring your recipe and I'll supply the Mascarpone!)
xxx

 
At March 02, 2007 5:19 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

That looks so yummy. Would you mind emailing me the receipe or posting it (it's his fav!)? P's bday is this month and he too is a pieces. We also have one more coming...

Oh geeze... no visual verification on firefox... again... IF anybody knows why it's not showing up, I'd appreciate knowing why?

I got it to work on safari.

 
At March 02, 2007 6:00 PM, Anonymous Maribeth said...

They say, when it rains, it pours, or...
in my case when it snows, we have a blizzard!
The cake looks wonderful!

 
At March 02, 2007 6:00 PM, Blogger Belinda said...

I had that crisis last year. Our oven blew up, kinda, while I was in the middle of cooking.

and oh my, you live with 3 Pisceans?

however, the cheesecake looks sooooo good Christina!

 
At March 02, 2007 7:48 PM, Blogger heather said...

Sorry to hear that my hometown cream cheese let you down. :-(

 
At March 02, 2007 9:41 PM, Blogger Mike B said...

Mercury in retorgrade indeed. The Partnerin and I have had the "let's use the old appliances" conversaton a couple times ... would you believe I'm the one against it. Maybe this will clinch the argument, so your suffering is not in vain ;) Sorry!

 
At March 02, 2007 10:04 PM, Blogger Dixie said...

Oh what a disappointment about your dishwasher! Hope your new one will be fabulous!

That cake looks so yummy!

 
At March 03, 2007 12:48 AM, Blogger Angie said...

Sweet mother Mary, that looks good.

 
At March 03, 2007 12:51 AM, Blogger Christina said...

I second the call for a post of the recipe. And we're three Pisceans (Charlie, Rainer and I) expecting a Leo. That should be fun.

 
At March 03, 2007 1:44 AM, Blogger Rositta said...

It's got something to do with the month of March, I'm convinced of that... my birthday is coming up too. I'm another pisces..ciao

 
At March 03, 2007 1:46 AM, Blogger Rositta said...

Sorry, forgot... this year so far we lost our microwave, toaster oven, kodak camera and now the ipod is toast...ciao

 
At March 03, 2007 5:29 AM, Blogger susan d said...

Hey, our boys are fourteen a day apart. Mine is a guitar (bass) playa too.

 
At March 03, 2007 9:49 AM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

You sure have a lot of Pisces in your house!

 
At March 03, 2007 11:06 AM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Oh, Christina! I know what you just went through. Mercury has really acted up recently. New fridge, dishwasher door that broke. I hope that was it!

BTW: That cheesecake looks great. Recipe, please? :)

 
At March 03, 2007 11:36 AM, Blogger Maria said...

I think I just gained 10 pounds looking at the cheesecake!

 
At March 03, 2007 12:25 PM, Blogger Kim and Victoria said...

Glad your cheesecake finally worked out. It looks great. Happy BDay to your son, he looks great too!

 
At March 03, 2007 3:15 PM, Blogger Betsy said...

Sorry to hear your dishwasher was in retrograde. Hope your fortunes have turned and that you have a nice weekend... :-)

 
At March 03, 2007 5:44 PM, Anonymous J.Doe said...

That piece of cake looks really good! Happy Birthday to him.

 
At March 03, 2007 7:39 PM, Blogger tinakala said...

Happy birthday to Mr. M! The cake looks delicious. I shouldn`t look at good stuff like that. I´m with Maria here.

 
At March 04, 2007 9:36 AM, Blogger Ginnie said...

Happy birthday, Happy birthday and one more to go. Of course, today isn't over so I hope Mr. M's goes down just fine.

Mercury did a number on my St. Paul's pics yesterday. Totally wiped them off the page and I had to re-publish just the pics today. What's up with THAT!

I'll be so glad when things get back to "normal."

In the meantime, may you never have to buy a new dishwasher again!

 
At March 05, 2007 11:06 PM, Blogger christina said...

mar - found it in a recipe book I had and it tastes great.

hexe - Thanks - he had a nice day and we survived the dishwasher disaster.

Antipo - Absolutely, Darling!

Expat - I'll post it soon and e mail it to you too!

maribeth - It's always something!

Belinda - Nothing blew up this time, thanks goodness, but living with three Pisces can be pretty explosive at times. :-)

Heather - No worries - I've used it before and it was fine, but the German kind seems to be a lot wetter than the U.S. kind and I must have gotten a mushy batch that time.

Mike - Yep, splurge and go for new everything just to be on the safe side. Right now's a bad time to make any decisions, though so beware. :-)

Dixie - The new machine is modern and interesting and I'm not sure I like it yet, but it washes the dishes just fine so I'm happy.

angie - It was gone in a flash.

christina - Oh yeah, Leos are tons of fun. You'll have your hands full. Recipe to come soon.

rositta - Don't know if Mercury was retrograde last March too but this one has been interesting. There are just TONS of Pisceans out there.

susan d - Really? Must have been a good time for babies. :-)

Elemm - I know! And they're all just soooo sensitive. ;-)

CSwiss - Oh that's right, you had a bunch of broken appliances too. Let's hope this will be over soon.

maria - Better than gaining 10 lbs from eating broccoli, eh?

kim and victoria - Thanks!

Betsy - We found out this week that we're going to have to poor yet more money into Mr M's car but other than that, things are going great!

jdoe - Thanks!

tinakala - Well, you younguns can lose it again so much more easily.

Ginnie - Thank you! We're crossing our fingers.

 
At March 06, 2007 3:34 AM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Thank you Christina! Obviously you are way too busy with bdays. I can totally tell. ;-)

 

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