Wistful Wednesday #7: Brownie Cheesecake

Betty Crocker Recipe Box , copywriter 1971 (I was very young back then)

Something new for ’22.

No not poetry. Recipes that conjure up wistful memories. Sometimes from the distant past and sometimes more recent.

Long ago I was a very young bride with great expectations

What could be better than a box full of recipes from Betty Crocker? One thing: Room to add my own recipes.

There’s something so pleasing about a box full of recipes precisely divided into categories starting with “Companies Coming” and “Family Favorites.” It’s like a beautiful dichotomy tree for identifying living things, but for food.

This brings back a memory of my computer programing class from my earliest college days. Yes, I created a huge stack of punch cards for a program to identify evergreen. But, I digress.

The first question: “Company or Family? Followed by: Dessert or salads? A meal or a snack? All my cooking and baking questions would be answered scientifically. Each recipe on a waxy card that’ll keep forever.

Brownie Cheesecake became my specialty.

Brownie Cheesecake is in the Company’s Coming/Elegant Desserts category. Every gathering could depend on me for Brownie Cheesecake. Of course, I shared the recipe, but it was my specialty. I suppose it still is.

It is a little complicated to make. So worth the effort. I make it in a jelly roll pan. It’s pretty rich, so I think it’s nice to have a little bit thinner pieces.

You can see, Brownie Cheesecake got a lot of use. (I don’t think I ever made the German Chocolate Brownies)
It really does turn out looking like this. Well, I don’t put each piece on its own pedestal. I mean, good Lord, who has twenty little dessert pedestals?

As my own family grew, it became a Family Favorite.

So much so that some people request Brownie Cheesecake for their birthday cake. So much for a scientific dichotomy tree for recipes!

I guess food is just not that easy to categorize into neat categories. Neither are living things. As genetic information improved, we found out some living things needed reclassification.

Classifying recipes turned out to be more difficult than sorting evergreens. Where does “Cowboy Cavier” go? I got the recipe from Gayle at a church potluck. Is that a Family Favorite or Company’s Coming? Is it in the sub-category “Food that Goes Places” or “Crowd-size Entertaining”? I never did get the hang of it. Those recipes I filed into categories became lost. Instead, I just tuck new recipes in the front of the box in no particular order. Maybe I need a computer program for organizing everything. Oh wait, I do. Epicurious. And the recipes never get fingerprinted and always stay neatly organized. Okay, I admit it, I print my favorites and add them to my collection. Maybe someday someone will hold my recipe cards and wistfully remember my disorganized and somewhat messy culinary skills.

Do you have a family favorite that is elegant enough for when company’s coming?

Now I feel even more wistful.

Do you have recipes that bring up memories? I’d love to hear about them. Please leave a link to your blog/instagram/facebook post.

Hmmm.. now my recipe has some great memories attached to it. I can feel the memories piling up.