My fondness for Woolworth's continues with my love of Nanci Griffith and her music... in her live recording of "Love at the Five and Dime" (she wrote it, by the way... not Kathy Matea)... she has a whole story about Woolworth stores. My favorite line is when she says "Woolworth stores everywhere smell the same... they smell like popcorn and chewing gum rubbed around on the bottom of a leather soled shoe".... She also reminisces about running across a Woolworth's in Europe and asking the driver to "stop the car and let me out so I can go fill up my suitcase with unnecessary plastic objects..."
|Photo of a Woolworths from "Gone But Not Forgotten"|
So I guess that's what the memory of Woolworth's represents to me.... unnecessary plastic objects, the smell of popcorn and chewing gum on a leather soled shoe... and the lunch counter with my mom.
Now I can't be certain if this is the actual recipe... there are a lot of them out there, but this is the one I tried. The first time I made it, I thought "wow... this is a LOT of dessert"... So invited some friends over and shared it with them. I kind of regretted it afterwards because it was so amazing. I especially like the graham cracker crust on this dessert, and I have since adopted this variation for every recipe I use that calls for a graham cracker crust. It is simply wonderful.
Now while this is called "cheesecake"... it's really not. Not by a long shot... but it is really, really delicious. Light, refreshing, and addictive. The only modifications I made to this recipe was to add an extra 8oz of cream cheese... I substituted lemon extract for the vanilla... and I added 2 TBSP of lemon juice.
It's that perfect "9x13 potluck dish"
Woolworth Cheesecake: The Recipe
- 1 box graham cracker crumbs (3 cups) more for thicker crust
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 stick melted butter
- 1 8oz cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla
- 1 3oz box lemon jello
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1st place can of evaporated milk in freezer, it needs to be ice cold (about 30 minutes)
- 2nd. Mix Jello with 1 cup hot water in small bowl, stir until dissolved and put in freezer for a quick set, you want it to thicken some but NOT set stir once about 20 minutes, then put in refrigerator until ready to use.
- 3rd. Mix graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and melted butter until well blended, put 3/4 of it in bottom of 9X13 pan. Press to form crust, save rest of mixture for later.
- 4th. Mix cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla until well blended, set aside.
- 5th. When Jello starts to thicken it is time to start. Open can of evaporated milk and pour into large bowl and beat until fluffy and looks like whipped cream. Add cream cheese mixture until well blended, slowly mix in the jello, pour into pan, sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crumbs, refrigerate about two hours before serving, store covered in refrigerator.