Part 1: Pumpkin Cheesecake:
Please pardon the somewhat unappetizing photo - I had to snatch one quickly before the last pieces disappeared. If you're tired of pumpkin pie, like Austen, give this pumpkin cheesecake a try instead - I don't think you'll be disappointed. I could eat it every single day for the rest of my life. And it's easy to make!
1 1/2 cups graham crumbs, 3 tbsp melted butter and 3 tbsp sugar, mixed well and pressed into a springform pan or pie plate.
2 packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp cinnamon
whipping cream for serving
With mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Fold in eggs. Remove one cup batter and set aside. To remaining batter, add pumpkin and spices, mixing thoroughly.
Pour plain batter into crust. Layer pumpkin batter, being careful not to disturb the first layer. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until centre is set. Refigerate at least 3 hours. Top with whipped cream to serve.
Would you believe that I forgot to whip cream to serve with this? So I used the cream I had and made some homemade vanilla ice cream (sans eggs) yesterday in my Cuisinart ice cream maker which I picked up at Frenchy's for $5. It works like a dream, and the ice cream is heavenly.
Part 2: Why I called 911 for the first time in my life today:
As I was driving along the highway this afternoon for work, a Camry in the oncoming lane swerved across traffic, crossing in front of me in a cloud of smoke and skidded into the ditch, rolling up onto its side in a swamp of cattails and another puff of smoke. I was the first one there, and was calling 911 as I stopped the car and ran out. Terrified, of course, that the people in the car would be injured or worse. Because the car was on its side, I couldn't climb up to look in (I'm only 5 feet tall), and then I saw a hand waving from the driver's side. An off-duty RCMP officer happened by right then and was able to climb up and help get the driver out. She was fine, but shaken up. Most of this time, I was talking to the 911 people, who arrived within a few minutes. Amazingly, because when I was speaking to the ambulance dispatcher, she said that they didn't have exit 32 on highway 101 (a main highway in Nova Scotia) on their map. What? This wasn't a back road in the middle of nowhere - maybe they need to start using Google maps. The driver had fallen asleep. If I had been in that spot on the highway 4 or 5 seconds earlier, things could have been much, much worse. That was the excitement of my day - the driver called me this evening to see if I was okay (I was knee-deep and shivering in freezing, muddy swamp water for awhile) and she said that it was a wake-up call (har har, punny) for her to make some changes to her routine, which involves getting up at 3:30am for work. I hope she does.
So tonight, I am thankful to be alive, home and well, with my sweet guys for company and homemade ice cream in my belly.