You know that scene from A Christmas Story where the father descends into the basement to battle the furnace and a cloud of gray smoke mingled with garbled obscenities seeps through the floor vent? Things have been a little like that at our house lately, but with the plumbing. We’ve plunged, snaked, and even resorted to calling in an “expert” (who showed up with the exact same equipment we had and scratched his head about what to do). Every time we thought we’d fixed the problem things would go smoothly for a week or so, but then everything would back up again. Noel was halfway to having enough hours to be a certified plumber by the time things went really wrong. (He really has no intentions of ever being a plumber, but if he did he says his company would be called The Poopsmith.)
We had last minute guests over that had been stranded at the Denver airport and were so excited to have a place to rest their heads, wash laundry, and take a hot shower before heading on their way. Unfortunately, we were only able to provide two out of three of those services. Katherine called me into the laundry room after her last load saying there seemed to be something leaking. As I ran downstairs I prayed, “Please let it be the washing machine, please let it be the washing machine,” but was dishearteningly met with sewage pouring out of the pipes’ joints and all over the the unfinished (phew) part of the basement. Fortunately, most everyone had already used the bathroom and I was the only one who had to make a trip over to the park. We sent Katherine and Sam off in clean clothes, but without showers, and wished them better luck than we were having. We called a different plumber and spent a good chunk of cash running a 115 foot bladed auger from our house to the main sewage line. (I should note that we did save $300+ by having Noel assist the plumber so it could have been worse if Noel wasn’t so handy.) Noel finally went off to work and stayed late while I kept the kids at bay and played HazMat team of one. It had literally been a pretty crappy day and I really wanted to just take a nap, but there was one thing that kept me motivated to finish all the things I needed to do: a slice of White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake drizzled with caramel as my reward.
Tuesday (the day before the plumbing apocalypse) was National Cheesecake Day and we of course couldn’t let such a day go uncelebrated. I decided to tackle making my Cheesecake Factory Favorite and we invited a few friends over to join us in the gluttony. All of the copycat recipes didn’t seem quite right to me, so I combined a few recipes and crossed my fingers that it would pull through. Other than a bundt pan denting the top of the cake (I still don’t know which monkey is to blame), it was pretty near perfection. I recommend that everyone make one and after eating some generous slices, freeze the rest to be used in case of emergency.
Check out our food blog for the recipe and more enticing photos.