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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Figuring Out Who We Are

October 29, 2013

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It had been a day, to be sure. The Day of the Lumpy Space Princess. A character I'd not yet heard of until early last week, when the younger daughter announced she wished to dress as Lumpy Space Princess for Halloween. I got online, googled, and there it was: a perfect, lovely purple cloud-like figure with a star on her forehead. It would take some work. "I can do this," I said out loud.

Went shopping and found a clearance-priced purple knit dress with straps and a cinched waist, and loaded up on 20 yards of purple tulle and some safety pins (thinking we might pin it all and she could wear the dress again). Saturday morning I went to work pinning poofs of tulle to the skirt of the dress. Not an easy thing to work with, tulle. I soon realized I would need more, and went out to pick up another 20 yards, but forgot more safety pins. Sigh. I switched to a needle and thread, and got back to work and she walked in and I was kind of glowing. I'd put four hours in and was so excited that she would just love it. She didn't, though. Something wasn't right. "I hope you're going to cover the top. And fill in all those spaces." The dress was about 2/3 covered, and I'd figured if I skipped the portion above the waist, one more roll would be enough. Third trip to the store.

Nearly three hours later, it was done. Not perfectly, but done. We pulled it gently over her head and down, tied off a portion of the shoulder straps so it would stay in place, and fashioned a small yellow star of construction paper which she taped to her forehead. She looked in the mirror. Glory be. She was the essence of the Lumpy Space Princess, for sure. She smiled, and now she was the glowing one. "Thank you so much, Mom," she said.

Why was it that her brother, a year older, wanted only silver glitter for his costume, and didn't really need help? "I've got it taken care of," he said. There was a concert at the school on Sunday to which they had to wear their costumes, and he came out of his bedroom ready to go. Hair done kind of gelled up and wild, a darkening around his eyes, and a light film of silver glitter over his hair and face and black hoodie. Edward Cullen the Vampire, from the Twilight stories. My goodness. Spittin' image. And they stood together for a moment, the Vampire and the Lumpy Space Princess, and I got kind of choked up.

Are costumes about mystery? Wishes? Maybe it's about figuring out who we are. Or aren't. Or maybe it's as simple as fun.

Perhaps I will wear a costume this year. Rosie the Riveter, maybe. Or a Flag Semaphore person. Or the color magenta. Or a Peep. Long as there's no tulle involved.

I often make this one on New Year's Eve, but it's really a dessert for all occasions. Serve it with a topping that fits the season -- caramel and nuts, chocolate syrup, berries, or just plain. Simple and sweet and a little bit decadent.

Cheesecake, New York Style

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup plus 2T melted butter
1½ cup sour cream
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 lb cream cheese, broken into small pieces

Blend crumbs, ¼ cup sugar, and ¼ cup melted butter. Press into bottom
of 8 or 9-inch spring form pan.

Blend sour cream, ½ cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla in blender, about a minute. Add cream cheese, and blend 'til smooth, and add 2T melted butter and blend a bit more. Pour on top of crust. Bake in lower 3rd of oven at 325, about 45 minutes. Remove. Turn oven to broil, and put cake back in 'til attractive brown spots appear. Remove, let cool a bit, and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight. Serve with cherry or blueberry topping. Serves 8-12.


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