On Wednesday afternoon I was seized with a very, very strong urge to eat cheesecake.  I am very rarely struck by such compulsions which is good because I also have very poor impulse control.  This desire, however, would not be slaked by my telling myself to get over it.  I required cheesecake.  Not just any old cheesecake, either.  It had to be cherry and it had to be potluck-style no-bake.  Baked cheesecake is a great joy but it was not right for this craving.

Those who know me or have read of my other cooking adventures will immediately realize that I could not possibly invent a recipe for no-bake cheesecake off the top of my head and have it come out edible.  I went to the Google, source of all knowledge that needs to be known immediately and isn’t required to be accurate or even really true.  Canadian Living Magazine apparently has a forum and that was the most promising option.  "GlenM" seemed a trustworthy sort so I jotted down his list of ingredients (graham cracker shell, eagle brand milk, cream cheese and 1/3 cup of lemon juice).  As the Superstore is more or less on my way home, I resolved to collect my ingredients en route and create my dessert upon arrival at home.

It turns out that lemon juice is kept in the juices aisle but it is really high up and not well signed.  This is a piece of information I expect to use exceedingly rarely.  Eagle Brand milk is in the baking aisle with the cherry pie filling and the others are pretty easy to find.  The lemon juice was the true kicker.  I spent over half an hour looking for it and/or an employee who could point me in its direction.  At last, success!

When I got home, Amy pointed me in the direction of graham crackers, lemon juice and cream cheese, all of which were already in the house.  I do not keep any kind of inventory in my head and now we just have a whole lot of lemon juice and graham crackers (in case I decide to make this again, possibly in the middle of the night).  The graham crackers are stored in the baking cupboard but it took me three tries to locate it.  I am not known for my culinary arts and with justifiable reason.

I embowled the ingredients (Eagle Brand milk, by the way, tastes absolutely disgusting by itself) and sort of mashed them together with a fork for a bit and then turned to a whisk when that proved ineffective.  I was concerned that the mixture was too liquidy but it worked out relatively well.   Here is a tip for making a homemade graham cracker crust:  Do not pulverize the graham crackers.  When they are powdered (as I made them by using the meat tenderizing mallet which I am not too sure why we even have) and then melted margarine is added to them they become a sort of spreadable paste.  I managed to make crispy graham crackers into a fine mush.  Here is a second tip:  When pouring the cherry pie filling onto the still-very-squishy cream cheese mixture, do it in small amounts and spread it around some.  If it’s all poured on at once it makes a crater nearly down to the graham mush and it becomes difficult to cover the top in a balanced and complete kind of way.

After sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours, the underlayers firmed up admirably.  It is not the kind of dessert that one will slice and serve (though I did prepare it in a spring form pan just in case).  It is more a scooping sort of thing and looks like a disgusting mashy mess in the bowl but it tastes exactly the way I expected it to.  I also figured that this dessert which we have been eating bit by bit for a couple of days is less than the price of two restaurant desserts (though to be fair to the restaurants, they actually make food that looks as though people might actually want to eat it).

A can of low-fat Eagle Brand Milk
About 350g of low-fat cream cheese
Graham cracker crumbs (enough to cover the bottom of whatever pan you’re using)
Butter/margarine (melted to make the graham crumbs stick to each other)
1/3ish cup of lemon juice (it sounds weird but it actually tastes pretty neat)
Pie filling or chocolate or whatever you like to have on your cheesecake I guess.  It wouldn’t be great plain.

you don’t wanna call nobody else