Posted on: January 21, 2008 8:40 pm

The Making of a Perfect Cheesecake

It may look simple, add a bunch of ingredients together, throw them in a pan and let it bake.  However, if you ever made a cheesecake you'd understand, it's not as easy as it seems, and the perfect cheesecake is always elusive.  It may happen a few times in a serious bakers time but not often, because there would be some tiny flaw, something that takes away that perfection and just makes it a great cheesecake.

How does one go about making that perfect cheesecake.  To be honest, I have yet to be able to do it, but I'll continue trying.  It's going to take time, I've tried recipe after recipe and I think I've found the right one for the basis.  Since then I've played with it, adjusted it.  Sometimes I was forced to use less quality ingredients, to save on costs.  It would turn out okay, even good...but not great, not perfect.  Then I'd get the right ingredients but it would either be underbaked or worse yet, overbaked.  Sometimes, when this occurred, they would be total losses, a toss in the trash and hope to do better with the next one.

I'll be honest, I think I've got it, or at least getting there.  It's a good recipe, reliable, basic.  Yet I want it to be great so I'll continue to experiment.  I've added ingredients to it, this liquor, that flavoring to see how well it would work.  Some flavors you'd think may not have worked, turn out surprisingly well, and others that seem they should, disappointment.  Often it comes out tasting very good, but when you pull it out of the oven, there's cracks in it, or worse, it falls apart when you cut that first slice, the crumb crust crumbling.  So instead of serving that piece to your guest, you hide in the shadows and devour it, enjoying it's taste.  It's not pretty but it sure taste good.

There was once I came close, it was supposed to go over to a friends house for dinner.  It was beautiful and when I came home from work, to my horror, a slice had been taken out of it.  So much for perfection.

Master baker Bill Bellicheck may have just come up with the perfect recipe.  He had a very good base and with some additions and subtractions, has the Patriots one game away from being the first undefeated team since the 1972 Dolphins.  It had taken him years of coaching to get to where he is this year.  Coming into the season, he had already a strong, quality team ready to contend.  With the addition of Randy Moss and Wes Welker to the WR corps, he brought just the right ingredients to give Tom Brady every option needed to make the offense perfect.  Already having an oline that protected him and a strong running back, the package became complete.  Add to that a solid defense and it makes, what seems to be an unstoppable force. 

There were times that it came close to cracking, but in the end, the Patriots prevailed, having gone the entire season without a loss.  Now with one game left, will the Patriots emerge from the Superbowl as perfect, or will that one slice be taken from it in the end?  Only time will tell, until then, it is still something that Patriots, and all fans of football can savor.


Category: NFL
Posted on: January 18, 2008 5:34 am

When Twilight Comes, Time to Call it a Day

After the Pittsburgh Steelers had won Superbowl XL in February 2006, there were whispers as to whether Bill Cowher would retire that year or not.  Cowher denied thoughts of retirement that year but during the 06-07 year, Steeler fans noticed a difference in our teams coach.  Normally use to seeing him animated, passionate and filled with energy, we noticed that it was, at the minimum, subdued, if not, gone.  Steelers went on to have a .500 season that year finishing 8-8.  Grant it, alot of that had to do with Ben Roethlisberger's motorcycle accident  and then his apendectomy, which caused the quarterbacks focus to shift from getting insync with his offense to getting physically better.  However, one still had to wonder if the desire in coaching was truly gone from Cowher.  We found out when he announced his retirement at the end of the season.

Now, whispers have started turning into rumblings as those who follow the NFL wonder if another coach will look to retire.  The whispers started at the end of the 05-06 season, when we learned of the death of James Dungy.  It had been asked as to whether or not the Indianapolis Colts coach, Tony Dungy would retire after that season.  Those whispers were suppressed and the next year the Colts would go on to win the Superbowl.  At the end of this year, the whispers are once again turning into rumblings about the possibility of Dungy retiring from coaching.  To add fuel to those rumors were  Jim Irsay's comments about accomodating Dungy with his son's game.   In that, and the announcement that assistant coach Jim Caldwell would replace Dungy, should he choose to retire, has lead us to begin to believe that, this offseason, indeed Tony Dungy's twilight has come in the NFL.  Still remaining though, Dungy himself has not announced it.

There seems to be a change when a coach begins to contemplate retirement.  It may not be tangible or even noticeable at a glance, but if you look closely, you'll notice it.  We noticed it with Bill Cowher.  Question is, if Dungy comes back next season, would he still have enough passion to coach the game?  Would the players spend the season wondering if this is their last year with their coach. and if so, what would the energy level be on and off the field for the team? 

Tony Dungy has had a great career in the NFL but perhaps it's time to call it quits if he's no longer enjoying it as he once did.  A person has to be true to himself to be true to those around him.  As with any career, there comes a twilight, and Coach Dungy since you're seriously contemplating calling it quits, perhaps it's time to recognize that twilight and call it a day.

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Dungy
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