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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sixteen Candles

Figgy and seven girlfriends went into NYC tonight in a pink stretch Jeep limousine!
The big present H. and I gave Figgy this year, for her 16th birthday, was a little money to buy a dress and then the splurge, a chauffeured ride to NYC with her closest a pink stretch Jeep. The stops Fig requested: Dylan's Candy Bar [owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter], where they all shared a giant sundae, with flavors like red velvet and coffee and donut; and Sephora in Times Square [where they went makeup shopping]. The traffic was thick going in and around Manhattan, so those were the only two destinations they went to during the four-hour rental [6 to 10 P.M.].

Seems like they had a lot of fun. Fig dreamed up the idea. Once the date was set and the deposit down, she sat at the kitchen table before she left for Greece, calling the seven girls, putting a check mark after she had reached each one. It somehow reminded me of The Devil Wears Prada.

Ariana? she'd say from her command in the breakfast nook. Are you free on Thursday, September 1? You are? Okay. Then be at my house by 5 P.M. And wear something black and dressy, preferably a dress. I can't tell you why. It's a surprise.

She asked the girls to all wear black--which they did, beautifully--and she wore pink. We served pink lemonade, hero sandwiches H. made, strawberries and raspberries. In the limo, which was hilariously, Austin-Powers glamorous inside, with black, white and pink seating, the driver [Michael] had iced tea, water, Sprite and Diet Sprite. Figgy popped her iPod right in, with a soundtrack they loved.

I called Fig's cell and Ariana's cell around 8, but no answer. Rather than going down the list of her friends on my contacts, I called Michael. They're fine, he said. They're having a blast.

Grateful for Fig's health and happiness--and for her fun-loving qualities, and her cherished friends. And though Figgy never met her, my mother loved NYC, her hometown. She must be beaming down to see how much her granddaughter loves it.

Nora Ephron's Cheesecake
Back to yesterday, the cheesecake from Nora Ephron's great novel Heartburn, copyright 1983. Here's the recipe in Ephron's words, attributed to Amelia:

Make a nice graham cracker crust and pack it into a 9-inch pie pan. Then mix 12 ounces [softened] cream cheese with 4 well-beaten eggs, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into the pie shell and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and cool 15 minutes. Then spread gently with 2 cups sour cream mixed with 1/2 cup sugar and bake 10 minutes more. Cool and refrigerate several hours before serving.

Notes: I make graham crust with 1 1/2 cups crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, mixed in a bowl. [I think if you use one of the store-bought crusts, you might have too much filling.] I also poured a little organic heavy cream into the filling, and always use pure vanilla extract. Bake until the center still jiggles a little bit when you gently shake the pan.

I hope you like it. Enjoy. Good night.

  1. Biked with Elly in park--eight loops around. We keep increasing distance. And biked a lot of the way back home.
  2. Got my hair colored. Had inches of gray again. Feel younger.


  1. The cheesecake sounds delicious. Does it all really fit into a nine inch pie pan? It seems like a lot, especially with the topping. Will let you know how it turns out for me when I try it. Thanks for posting the recipe. Love, Lin What a fun birthday present for Figgy!

  2. What a lucky girl having such wonderful parents! Sounds like she had a blast.

  3. Happy birthday, Figgy! That sounds like an *awesome* sweet 16!

  4. Hi Lin, Lisa and Eileen. Thank you for the good wishes. Lin, I checked. I used a glass pyrex pie plate that is 9.5 in size. Eight-in would be way too small--what size do you have? love, alice

  5. I have a about 3 various sizes. I would use the largest one, I guess.

  6. Yes. How is L, Lin? and J? sending prayers and good vibes. love al

  7. Hi Al. L is set for surgery on Tuesday (has to be at the hospital at 5 am!). J is doing a little better. Thanks for asking.. will let you know how things go. Lin

  8. Happy birthday, Fig! What a wonderful celebration! And happy 16 years to you too, Mama.

  9. Thank you, Kim! it does feel a little like my birthday, too! I hope you had a great day. :)