Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Magical Thinking

When I was little I often wished for things and they came true. Sometimes they were small things like finding my hairclip or my bangle that they'd lost in the grass, and sometimes they'd be bigger. Things like Anthony asking me out when I was 10. That was a big event. But the point is I actually believed that if I wished for something it would come true.

My life has been pretty blessed, with no real trauma other than the unavoidable loss of pets and people close to me as they got older. There has been no great injustice, no horrid events or memories that stick in my mind. As I've got older I've wondered about this and the superlative luck I've had in life. That merely wishing for things I got them.

I wished to go to a particular highschool, I wished to win the scholarship and therefore I was allowed to go. I wished to do well at school, I wished to go to uni and get into a particular course. I wished to do medicine and got in first try. I don't think it ever really occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to do it.

When LH and I looked bleakly at the state of our finances some months and wondered how we'd cope something always fell in our lap - a new job offer, a new situation, an unexpected gift from a relative. This month we were doing particularly badly. There have been some very unfortunate financial pressures this month and although we knew that the childcare rebate was due it just didn't come for weeks and weeks.

On the weekend I was feeling panicky about our financial situation. That horrid anxiety that settles like a cold fist in the middle of your chest. LH tried to calm me down and remind me that we will be fine because we always are, but for the first time I doubted that magical aura that has been over us that everything would be OK. It scared me, a lot. I tried to envision us actually buying a house some day, of not having a ginormous HECS debt and actually having savings in the bank. I wished for it but I just couldn't imagine it any more than those dreams you have of when you win lotto.

Then yesterday we received our childcare rebate. Finally. So now we have almost no credit card debt. Then we found out that we should be receiving the next round of it at the end of this month. Which means NO credit card debt. Then today (on the background of a worsening economic crisis which will probably mean I'll be back to financial terror in a few short months) it was announced that the government in an effort to restore consumer confidence and to inject funds back into the economy will be providing all children who are eligible with $1000 on December 8. That's $2000 for us and will help us enormously.

I know magical thinking doesn't actually work. But sometimes I do wonder if I was born into a field of four leaf clovers. Because while $2k is hardly a kings ransom, and will be but a drop in the ocean of what I may earn in the future, right now it represents so many things to us. Not least of all relief.


****

Completely unrelated to the above I have never made cheesecake before and I tried it tonight. I used a mish mash of recipes and what I thought would be nice and being as it was my own recipe I thought I had best write it down.

Ingredients
- 250g Nice biscuits
- 100g butter
- 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
- 250g cream cheese
- 175mL natural yoghurt
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 4 eggs

Method
- preheat oven to 170 degrees (non fan forced)
- crush biscuits or process in mixer
- add in melted butter
- spread biscuit mixture over base of springform cake tin and up sides as much as possible then place in refrigerator to set
- whip cheese with mixer until light and pale
- add condensed milk, lemon juice/zest and yoghurt and continue to mix on high
- separate eggs adding yolks to the cheese mixture
- in separate bowl whisk egg whites until soft peaks form
- gradually fold eggwhites into cheese mixture until gently combined
- pour mix over biscuit base and place in oven
- bake for 45 minutes
- turn off oven, leaving cheesecake to cool in oven for 15 minutes (note that the heating creates a souffle like effect so the cake will rise a lot at first, falling as it cools)
- further cool cake on a bench before refrigerating, preferrably overnight

I have yet to taste my masterpiece but it looks pretty impressive. I'm thinking of making a berry coulis to serve with it and either fresh cream or ice cream.

1 comment:

Donna said...

It's funny, I've been landing on my feet, independant for the past 23 years yet I still think that 'next week' will be the week that it all falls apart.

You'd think that at my age I'd be a little more optimistic lol.

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