A better-than-usual excuse for a baking project

The Nadeau Family
Tuesday is my grandmother’s 90th birthday — that’s her in the middle of the photo at right. On Sunday, there was a big gathering of family and friends to celebrate the day, and of course there was no question where I was going to be. But I’ve brought some of my baking to various family gatherings for a good while now, so I knew I’d be doing something. A clue came last Christmas — when I brought three pies, and my grandmother started talking about how much she loved cheesecake. I can take a hint as well as the next guy, so I figured that was going to be my task. I went looking through my cookbooks for a cheesecake recipe that wouldn’t be too elaborate, have problematic ingredients, or be a big hassle to prepare and then transport to Connecticut. I eventually settled on a recipe by Judy Rosenberg, and that will be the subject of my next post.

The gathering was held in my cousin Mandy’s back yard, where they erected a big party tent, and the weather was beautiful — no hint of the heavy humidity that blew in today. My aunt Diane produced a nice little booklet with current photos, addresses, and birthdays for the whole family — there are 75 of us, counting the babies and the in-laws! The food was mostly summer picnic style — there will be a more formal dinner in a restaurant Tuesday evening, for just the older generation — and largely catered, although my aunt Louise made a few of the family favorites, including my grandmother’s cinnamon rolls:
Cinnamon rolls
(You could hardly ask a 90-year-old to bake for her own birthday party!) These are just a standard flaky pastry, rolled out thin and spread with cinnamon sugar, then rolled back up and sealed before baking — probably 300 calories each, and I was not alone in eating far, far too many of them. (These four I brought home with me, but have thus far resisted the temptation to consume!)

One more picture:
Mother and Grandmother
That’s my mother (the second-oldest of her generation) and her mother the birthday girl. (I guess I can’t use “mother’s maiden name” as a “security” question any more. Not that it was ever a good idea….)

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