Saturday, September 20, 2008
I love a good party: Harvest Baby Shower
Yes, it is baby shower season. Along with the ripening apples and pumpkins, it seems as though my good friends' babies are ripening up too, getting ready to come into the world! My beautiful friend Tammy is expecting in October, and I thought that an autumnal shower would help her ease into this new season filled with great things to come.
I have made so many pies, and felt like trying something else. I was really pleased with how this Apple-Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake turned out.
I also made a Pumpkin Cheesecake, which was so easy but, then again, so NOT! The actual mixing of ingredients and putting in the oven was a cinch. I was pretty smug as I put the cake in the oven, thinking "what is the big deal about cheesecake? What's all the hype about?" But, I learned as I followed the rest of the recipe, that it's not really about the baking that makes the cheesecake. It's all about the cooling of the cheesecake that makes it a labor of love. Two hours in the oven, then four on the countertop, then four in the fridge. No problem, if you make it in the morning, but I started this journey at 7:00 pm. At 9:00, when I was pulling it out of the oven, I had major crack anxiety. Not crack cocaine, but cheesecake crack. If I had put the cake in the fridge, my cake would have instantly cracked and all of my beautiful cake aspirations would be dashed in one second. I decided to leave the cheesecake out on the countertop and take my chances. No biggie, right? But, my nice husband knew about all this and woke up, out of his own concern for me, at 1:30 am, just to put the cheesecake in the fridge. Now that, my friends, is true love. I woke up to a beautiful, flawless cheesecake in the morning, and gave my husband a hundred kisses. In retrospect, maybe I should've started the cheesecake the morning before, so we wouldn't have had to tend to it like a newborn baby.
I was about to take pics of these nice cakes and then "ding dong"! My first guest arrived a full 30 minutes early! I put her right to work, helping me cut fruit.
Tammy has spent a lot of time in Italy, and she is a world-famous opera singer, so Italian food seemed to be most appropriate. My prosciutto-wrapped melon was not the most popular, but maybe my favorite thing that I served. I love prosciutto, and it was different and adventurous, and, well, in Italy we were always eating weird food combinations like this, so I liked feeling kinda sorta Italian. I got my old faithful olive salad and bocconcini from Liuzzi's Market, one of my favorite places, some Italian soda, bread and cheese, and had some friends bring a few other things to round it all out. We had quite the crowd to rally around Tammy, and plenty of adorable little baby things to help us all remember how sweet life can be when blessed with a new little one.