I’ve crawled out from underneath this huge pile of quinoa and writing deadlines to tell you that it’s my birthday today!! Well, in India it is. But that’s where I left the womb so technically, I have been born. On my American birthday, I will be at work, bagging unholy kilos of spice-rubbed chicken and chopping vegetables because that’s just what I do for work.
But lets talk about yesterday instead, because I’m all for living in the moment. And while we’re doing that, lets talk about this whole year because it got me to this very point where I can sit down and reminisce. The part that stood out to me the most is that I got to go back home to Goa. Then there’s that other part where I volunteered for these ladies/girls and nothing was ever the same again. I can confidently say that I am not the same person I was before these momentous landmark things.
The strange thing is, I don’t feel very different. My body parts still work and I can still go on 4 hours of sleep. I would love to be that person that writes a list of things she’s learnt but honestly, I never know! Plus, lists and me have an on again-off again relationship. I’m not going to make one.
Or maybe I will.
- Last year on my birthday, I was in Southern Illinois. I got prezzies from the in-laws and we ate really well.
- The year before that I was in New York City. I visited Coney Island for the first time and we flew kites on the beach. I also ate a hot dog.
- The year before that I was in Kashmir and then Mumbai. We stayed in a house boat. Met the cutest pet baby lamb and drank lots of kava (a saffron tea).
- This year, I’m at home. I bought a (somewhat) huge pot for my baby mint baby and now she looks SO HAPPY. I asked for hot dogs for dinner and I woke up early and made mini cheesecakes.
I can say I definitely remember the food. Not the presents, just the food. I think I’m okay with this birthday being “normal”. By normal I mean I went on a hike along the coast and ate about half a kilo of cherries. I’m getting better at being okay with the lull, if that’s what lull means.
Okay, I think our balcony is on fire. That means it’s party time.
Happy 27th birthday, Edlyn G D’Souza!
Greek yogurt cheesecake + salted pretzel crust
(Makes 5 mini cheesecakes)
For the pretzel crust
Adapted from Oh, Ladycakes
- 112 gms (1 cup) salted pretzels
- 6.5 tbsp unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes
For the cheesecake filling
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 1 tsp powdered gelatin
- 339 gm (12 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered cane sugar
- 3/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
In a food processor, grind the pretzels until they turn into a fine powder. It take about 2-3 minutes for it to reach the desired texture so don’t lose your marbles if it doesn’t turn to flour immediately. Once it has turned to pretzel flour, add the cubes of cold butter and process on the low setting until the butter is combined well and you don’t see any chunks of it around. If you press the flour together with your fingers, it should stick together. If it doesn’t add about 1/2 to 1 tbsp more of cold butter and pulse in the food processor.
Grease the mini tart tins with cooking spray/butter or whichever oil you choose. Take the pretzel flour and press down into the tart shells covering the whole surface (as) uniformly (as possible). Place the tart tins in the fridge while you work on the cheesecake filling.
In a small heat-safe bowl, add 1 tbsp of cold water to 1 tsp of the gelatin powder and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Cheesecake filling time (finally!)! In a large bowl, all all the other ingredients and using a hand mixer/blender, cream together until it has a very smooth consistency and it’s not all lumpy. Lumps=not nice. Fill a skillet with about 1 inch of water and put it on the stove on medium-high heat. Put the bowl with the gelatin in the skillet and stir until the gelatin dissolves. It should take about 3-4 minutes. With the blender in motion, add the gelatin to the filling in a thin stream. Mix well.
Pull out the mini tart tins from the fridge and fill it up with the cream cheese filling. You might have some left over filling, which you can save and serve with fresh fruit, if you prefer. Cover the mini cheesecakes and place the tart tins back into the fridge for 5-6 hours. Pop it out of the tart tins and serve cold.: with sprinkles.
Cuz it’s my birthday.