With the countdown to Paris nearing single digit days, my heart strings tighten as my mind begins to unravel and loosen. I feel like a thread, the last single cord that binds together a rich thick sweater and I’m the strand that is capable of fraying and could unravel the entire product. The sweater, when intact, fits snug and tight against the flesh of reality and once it begins to come undone, it loosens and like a broken spider web, particles can float through unharmed.
I’ve gone through stages of emotional clarity and uncertainty throughout this approaching major step in my life, and I’ve finally neared a resting point in all the chaos. Lately a serene calmness has washed over me, like salt water smoothing the surface of the sand coated drying bits of me that held nerves and anxiety. As the tide rhythmically retreats backwards, it has left a trusting layer of damp sand in its wake. It will dry again but without fail the water will rise and wash away the patterns and lines embedded on the surface, like a hand to a furrowed brow. I realize I am ready.
At night I look around, the way the darkness can blanket the earth with silence and how it fits comfortably like a glove. (Even if you have to use a nightlight.) I realize there’s only one moon, one sun, and both serve the same purpose- to light up the darkness. I realize no matter the distance from where you want to be to where you actually are, it’s all really the same anyway. We all breathe the same air, feel the same sun on our bare shoulders, gaze at the same moon.
As the day draws nearer towards this awakening reality, this mixture of emotion makes me realize how truly amazing yet frightening dreams are. Something that you want so bad begins within the heart and streams through your veins, coursing and mingling with desire and anticipation. The most unnerving things in life are usually not a stretch to acquire and it seems as if the more frightening something is, the more it’s desired, the more it’s wanted, the more it means. It can fill you to the brim, run over the edge, soak the table, leave a stain. But isn’t it all so worth it in the end? Isn’t that the goal, really, to discover what it meant when it’s all over, to look back and reminisce? To have something to look back over your should for?
This current reality I’m clothed in is truly the most exciting experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of being apart of. Every strand, every thread binding this journey together is blanketing me in a thousand different feelings and I’m cherishing every bit of it. (With all this talk of sweaters and blankets makes me wonder my sudden clothing obsession and if perhaps I should have a fashion blog instead?)
With that being said, I did make cheesecake. And it has a blueberry compote. And it is delicious, and for the brief minute it took to inhale an entire mason sized portion, all I could think about was cheesecake. And blueberry compote. It washed away all thoughts of sweater sewing realities and blankets full of sun particles and Parisian cobblestone cafes fitting like gloves upon my tan fading hands. It was cheesecake, and it was all I needed, so here you have it- the true escape.
Blueberry Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until moistened and combined. Press into the bottom and sides of an 8 inch spring form pan* (or if you’re like me and can’t find the bottom for your pan, put them in mason jars and other ceramic dishes. When in doubt…. mason) Keep in fridge while making filling.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- 1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pint sour cream
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 dash vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy.
Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan (or masons) and smooth the top with a spatula.
*At this point, I baked my cheesecakes for about 30-40 minutes. Since a standard cheesecake is made into an 8 inch spring form pan, if that’s what you prefer to do, I will list the procedure for working with a spring form pan.
Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in foil. Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake, so make sure its wrapped good. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook, because you don’t want the top to brown or crack. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered for a few hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Remove and transfer to a cake plate and top with blueberry topping.
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.