Pumpkin Cheesecake

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of food. When I was 6 years old and living with my family in suburban Toronto my parents sold everything we owned and bought a 27’ Shepherd Cruiser. The family (including my 3 year old sister and 8 year old brother) moved aboard in early spring. We spent the next few of months traveling through the Intracoastal Waterways with a short ocean crossing from Florida to Freeport, Grand Bahamas Island where we settled for a few years.

On that journey I discovered the pleasure of food. The first experience happened while we were moored in The Chesapeake Bay. With crab nets in hand my brother, sister and I went out to capture what we could off the moorings around the marina. To our delight we brought home fresh blue crabs for dinner! I remember the excitement of eating with our hands, ripping apart the shell and sucking the meat from the nooks and crannies. But what struck me most was the rich, buttery flesh that tasted so divine.

The second memory came while our boat was in dry dock getting repairs in coastal Florida. While staying in a hotel my parents ordered room service, which in itself was a new and exciting experience for an impressionable 6 year old. For dessert we had New York Cheesecake. I clearly remember swooning over sheer pleasure of the texture and taste of this luxurious dessert.

That was it, I was hooked. From those early experiences food became a love that has been with me all my life. I grew up with parents who loved to cook fostering an appreciation of food, cooking, baking and the experience of sharing a meal with family and friends. I am happiest in my sunny kitchen creating nutritious and delicious meals for the people in my life. Each month I am going to share with you local food news, a story and a recipe, hopefully inspiring you to join in the celebration of food.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
This cheesecake is light and fluffy unlike the usual denseness of a New York Cheesecake.
It combines the healthiness of pumpkin pie and the decadence of cheesecake in one!

Crust ~
30-40 small ginger snaps ground into crumbs (11/2 cups)
3 Tbsp melted butter
500 grams of cream cheese (2 blocks of Philadelphia)
1 cup of pumpkin
1 cup of light cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
11/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Blend ginger snaps into crumbs using a blender or food processor and combine in a bowl with butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a spring form pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 5 minutes.
In a food processor whip cream cheese, cream, pumpkin, brown sugar, egg yolks, flour, vanilla, spices and salt. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and turn into crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour - until it is set and golden brown on top.
Combine sour cream, and maple syrup. Spread over cheese cake and return to oven for 5 minutes.
Chill before serving.

Nutritional Notes:
Pumpkins are rich in antioxidants and beta – carotene, are high in fibre, and loaded with potassium.

Local Food News

Picnic Restaurant is open for Brunch ~
Saturdays & Sundays 10-4
Now you can hang at this gorgeous and hip new space during the day on weekends enjoying things like crepes - made to order, homemade corned beef Rueben, handmade elk chorizo, specially spiced picnic granola (that’s all the chef would tell me!) and a great selection of mixed drinks to compliment the food.
Menu items range from $7-$15.

Loaf Bakery is also a Pizzeria ~
Friday and Saturday nights
Delicious Italian-style flatbread pizzas baked fresh in their wood-fired oven and served up with the Fernie Brewing Co's beer. Choose from 6 different varieties from Classic Italian to the Blue Mule – with spicy pepperoni. These 12” made to order pizzas range in price from $13 - $18.
They also do take out.

Sinful Sweetness Bake Shop ~
This quaint little 2nd Ave bakery and cafe is now offering gourmet frozen food you can take home! The menu is quite extensive and exotic– things like Roasted Vegetable Torte, Thai Red Curry Seafood and Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup- just to name a few. Ingredients include local when available, organic where possible and the meat is all free range with no chemicals or hormones. Two sizes available in the entrees and are packaged in reusable and recyclable containers.
Prices range between $16.50 and $19.25 for small entrees.
Watch for “in house tastings” put on by the bakery in early March.

Old Elevator Restaurant ~
Steak Sandwich Sundays ~ Enjoy a cozy and relaxing Sunday sitting by the wood burning fire place enjoying AAA Angus steak sandwich and a pint all for under $20.
Wine Wednesdays ~ three selected wines paired with their cheese and meat platter - $35 for two
Ideal Ranch in Jaffray ~
Saturday Farmer’s Market 1-5pm
This co-operative farm is now sharing their fine food by way of a weekly farmers market. Available this time of year are farm fresh eggs, home baked bread, fresh apple cider juice and vinegar and their own honey. Wellness products and arts & crafts also available. The Ideal Ranch is located on the Jaffray Baines Lake Rd. close to Jaffray – watch for signs on hwy 3.

Got food news? Send them to christa@ccmarketing.ca