Monday, April 30, 2007

Dessert with the Neighbors


The invitation said, "Come & Meet Your Neighbors". Our goal was to get several of our neighbors together to at least meet & get familiar with others who live nearby on our street. I can't say it was a smashing success, since we invited 16 familes & 4 came out. Only one called to say they couldn't make it, but thought it was a great idea. The other 11 didn't respond at all. I think times have changed & people are just not as neighborly anymore. I remember when folks used to take time to get to know their neighbors & be friendly, but it seems that today, most just don't have the time or inclination to do that. And, it's OK...I'm glad we made the effort anyway. We have 2 great neighbors on either side of us who came over & we enjoyed visiting with them. They are both good friends with each other anyway & their kids are in school together. A sweet older couple in their 80's came from down the street. One other guy came over from across the street with his 2 young sons, but his wife was exhausted from giving a birthday party, so didn't make it. I'm glad we tried it, although I may not be that ambitious again in hosting another one. Maybe something smaller next time, with those who seem to be interested in doing that.

The cheesecake turned out spectacular, even though I haven't made it in years. It's really a great recipe, so I'll share it with you. It's one of those recipes that you might not use but every so often, but it's a good one when you really want to go all out. This one is the real deal...New York style Italian cheesecake. I got this recipe at least 25 years ago from one of my first boss's wife. They were both Italian. So, I've kept it in my recipe stash all this time & get it out on special occasions. Several years ago, I bought a springform pan from Pampered Chef just so I could make cheesecake!

Italian Cheesecake

Crust:
1 cup flour
1 stick butter (unsalted)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Roll into ball & mash into bottom of springform pan. Bake at 350* for 20 min.

Cake:
1 lb. Ricotta cheese
1 lb. sour cream
1 lb. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
3 large eggs
3 Tbls. flour
4 1/2 Tsps. vanilla
Dash of grated lemon rind
4 1/2 Tsps. lemon juice

Mix starting slow speed, ingredients in order given. Finish at high speed for 10 min. Grease pan sides with butter & flour. Pour batter into pan & bake 350* for 1 hr. Turn off & leave in oven for 1 hr. Refrigerate overnight.

If you're lucky enough to have one of those super-duper Kitchenaid mixers, this will be a lot easier. I am not one of the lucky ones...I have a little hand mixer, so that 10 min. mixing at high speed is a challenge, but I promise....it's worth it!


And now, for the weekend yardsale news...I'm sure you're all sitting on the edge of your seat for the latest, right? LOL Well, it was a fun saling weekend. I took a friend with me & we hit a big neighborhood called Brook Highlands. I went last year & was not disappointed & this year didn't disappoint either. My friend really scored on some nice things and she really needs a lot for her house, so I helped her find some great things.
This week, I bought mostly little things, but it was fun just the same.








Cute little top for $1.00, which I wore to church on Sunday & also to the dessert gathering at our house. It's too cute!








Ahhh, jewelry...I love me some costume jewelry & for the last several years, most of my jewelry has come from yardsales. 2 bracelets & a pair of earrings, $1.00 each.







Found a really neat shelf from a little old man who made woodwork in his garage workshop. He had a nice wooden birdhouse, but it was a lot more than we wanted to spend. This shelf is solid wood & he was selling it for $2.00.




Brass rabbit tray, 50 cents. I'll be bronzing this cutie with my Sophisticated Finishes bronze paint.















Gold bookends for $1.00...these will get bronzed too.










Like new, Dooney & burke leather wallet, $3.00. I thought about reselling this, but I think I'll keep it for myself!







And check out the cute little birdy for 50 cents. He's a perfect addition to my front door pocket. He's made of real feathers too.

Found my hubby a couple of like-new golf shirts and also some samples of Estee Lauder for myself, lipstick & mascara, all brand new of course, for 50 cents each. I'm kicking myself now for not buying more mascara.

All in all, a very successful yardsale day!

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lucinda said...

I think the dessert evening is a great idea.
You have got to start somewhere when it comes to creating a great neighborhood.

Lori@OkieCottageBliss said...

Hi Rhoda

Despite not many showing up at your party, it still sounds like it was a good time. I think you should keep trying- Our neighbors had an ice cream block party one time and not very may attended but the next one was a big hit.. Now it's the Summer event for our neighborhood - don't give up! I'll definitely have to try your cheesecake recipe- sounds really good. Way to go on the garage sale finds - love the brass bunny!
Lori

Raised In Cotton said...

What a wonderful idea, even though not many of your neighbors showed up, I bet next time you will have more!

Hugs,

Carol
http://raisedincotton.typepad.com/

PAT said...

The cheesecake sounds delicious! I think if you try again, you might have more attend. Perhaps the word will get around, what a fun time it was.

We have organized gatherings in our neighborhood. A gathering in the fall and progressive dinner during the holidays. Even though we've met almost everyone in the neighborhood, we are closest with our next door neighbor and those we've known several years.

Gatherings like yours are wonderful!

Love all your sale finds, especially the DB piece!

Pat
Back Porch Musings

Lacy said...

the 'gathering' sounds like a wonderful idea...keep it up...I can't wait to try your cheesecake recipe...I just bought some 4" springform pans...think I'll try your recipe for those...YUM!!

willzmom said...

The cheesecake looks yummy, worth every calorie I'm sure-or did you bake the calories out of it? I know what you mean about neighbors, it's such a different, busy world. Great yard sale finds, as always.

Trudi said...

Hi Ronda,
Good for you in making the effort. I agree with you that others just don't take the time to get together. I'm not sure if it is the fact that so many families are non traditional, ie. always exchanging kids for weekends, two household incomes or what? I lived in a Neighborhood that wasn't very close. It makes me want to live in the country. Your new purchases are great. I'm never quite that lucky to find stuff at those prices.

Susan P. said...

That was such a thoughtful and kind gesture towards your neighbors, Rhoda. I am sure that the people that did show up had a wonderful time and appreciated the little party! The cheesecake recipe sounds like it is "to die for!" YUM:o) The top and the wallet were such wonderful, lovely "finds" for you!!

Anonymous said...

Hi...
I recently bought springform pans and now I have a recipe, thank you !!! It's one of my hubby's favs.

When I moved into our neighborhood, most of us were stay at home Mums, my next door neighbor and I did a luncheon and only a few came. We just don't have a "get together" type neighborhood. Everyone says hello and goes about their business. I do love where I live though, we are at the end of a cul de sac.
Thinking back perhaps we should have tried again.
I have a wallet similar to that, I am a D & B girl, I can tell you that was a steal and in such good condition !!!

Thanks for the recipe...
Kathy :)

Rosemary said...

Well, I would have made it to your party. Their loss.
Anyway it looked like great fun.
About your garage sale items. What a haul. Lucky finds.
Rosemary

OldBagNewTricks said...

Your cheesecake looks irresistable! Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous recipe.

Thanks, Jenny

smilnsigh said...

It was a lovely idea of yours, to host such. A shame that those who couldn't for some reason attend, didn't at least have the courtesy to send their regrets. -sigh-

I think this begs for that saying; 'Wishing for the good old days.' When people were more friendly, and also, were polite. -sigh-

Mari-Nanci

DebraK said...

Rhoda, at least you tried and that's all you can do. It was a friendly and neighborly thing to do.

I'll have to try that recipe. I have the pampered chef pan and never used it.

Your YS finds were great as usual. I went YSing and got a bird feeder on a nice sturdy pole, brand new, a potato masher an a house plant for 5$. I was thrilled with the potato masher! I never had one before....it's the little things!

The Feathered Nest said...

I think it was lovely that you made the effort and I'm sure those who came had a wonderful time. In my neighborhood we have several neighbors that aren't even speaking to each other. So I don't even know how I would manage a neighborhood get together!

Great yard sale finds as usual - love that bunny!

Manuela

P.S. I went to the Fabric & Fringe Warehouse Sunday - what a cool place! Thanks for the tip!

Betty said...

Hi Rhoda,
I wish I lived on your street!
I think it was a wonderful idea....We had a Christmas Open House one year and we had a wonderful time....

You found great things and I'm envious! Where do you buy your bronze spray paint? I have some things I would like to bronze.

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

just found your blog from Sadies. LOVE IT! You are the yardsale queen! My whole living room is from a yardsale!
I would love to feature you on my new blog sometime.
http://Todayscreativeblog.blogspot.com

martha said...

Sounds like your party was lovely, and the food delicious! You are not alone in the surprising lack of response to your kind invite. I personally have experienced the same situations, and have heard several similar stories from others. It is just a sad indication of the deline of manners, NOT a reflection on your generousity. Keep trying to build community - don't lose heart.

The Decorated House said...

Quality over quantiy! I think you had a grea success in that your nice neighbors came and the cake was perfect. I'm glad you have so much fun at your yard sales. I wasn't sure if that city was big enough for you and the other gals already there. But guess it is. I love the SF, great product.

~Dawn~ said...

Rhoda,
Don't give up on the neighbor gathering idea! When we moved into this house last August we were greeted (on day 3) with about 20 people who actually sang "Welcome to the neighborhood!" to us! Since then, we've been invited (and went!) to an Oktoberfest celebration, coffee get-together and most recently, an Easter egg-hunt and parade. I feel so blessed to live in this neighborhood. One woman in particular seems to put it all together and we just love her charm and imagination. Keep trying! Maybe a pre-4th of July barbecue? Good luck!
Dawn

Jen @ The Cottage Nest said...

I think it's sad that people didn't respond to your invitation. It was a great idea and good for you for making the effort.

I went to some garage sales last weekend, inspired by all the treasures you find, and didn't find a single thing! Maybe southern garage sales are better than mid-west ones!

Marilyn said...

Rhoda, I think the meeting neighbors invitation is a great idea. The neighbors that showed up will always be "special" neighbors and that's because you went to so much effort to get to meet them.
The cheesecake recipe sounds wonderful. I'll have to print it out for sure. I'm thinking it's the same one from GI that I have. Did you share it there once?
And what great yard sale finds! I still haven't found very good deals here. Nobody gets rid of the good stuff....lol.

Sandy said...

Hi Rhoda, I think you are right, that times have changed. What I have noticed is that people do not RSVP anymore! So what I do is call them, track them down. It isn't right.
How can we change what is happening in America? ? ?
Thanks for the recipe. And I love your finds!
PS -- I may try to do a luncheon for my neighbors this month. I have a lot of elderly neighbors so I'm hoping that they will come!
Sandy
Happy MAY DAY!

Deb said...

Your New York style cheesecake recipe sounds delicious - My husband & daughter have a little "competition" going as to who makes the best cheese cake - I think I'll give them your recipe to try :-)

Heather ~ Pretty Petals said...

It was so thoughtful of you to host a neighborhood party. Your cheesecake sounds so heavenly! I love all of your yardsale finds too!

Heather

Daisy Cottage said...

Oh Rhoda, I would have been there with bells on! They sure missed out on a special evening, BUT I know that the sweet ones who did visit had a wonderful time! I bet they didn't want to go home! Your cheesecake sounds fantastic...Oh yummmmmmy! Will definitely try it. Love your new finds too!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

girl, you are the BEST at garage saling!! You get the best stuff.

I am sorry the party wasn't what you planned on, but still I am sure those who came enjoyed themselves. AND your killer cheesecake. yummy. thanks for sharing the recipe.

Sandy McTier said...

What a lovely idea and great way to meet your neighbors (if they show up) I would have showed up if I lived in your neighborhood so I could get a tour of your house - love the tidbits you share on your blog. God Bless

ShabbyInTheCity said...

That is so sad about those neighbors! So much for southern hospitality! Didn't even reply. Well everything looks wonderful and I would have been there :)

Ruth Welter said...

Rhoda, your meet the neighbors party sounded wonderful. If I lived near you, I would have been thrilled and would have been there with bells on. It is sad that lately, there is not a lot of priority given to people trying to get to know each other anymore. Even if you are not best friends with you neighbors, it is great to know them and get along with them. I'm sure the people who did come, really appreciated your efforts and are so glad you invited them.

the wine makers wife said...

Oh bummer about your dessert party. yes, times have changed. My husband and I are both 27 and newly wed- we have this horrid neighbor next door who HATES my gorgeous and kind husband. WTF? She leaves harrasing notes on his car every so often. *sigh* Anyway, I thin kits darling that the couple in their 80's made the effort to stop in, and its great to meet your neighbors becuase then you relate to them- you know their faces, you associate that they are real people with feelings and problems like yours- it makes the community kinder to be in.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful "intimate" neighboorhood party! Sometimes those actually are the best! Our neighborhood tried to start an annual "block party" which went over very well the first year, the second year hardly anyone showed up! I actually prefer smaller parties, so you can have nice conversations without so much noise and busy-ness around. Your treasures are amazing! I would keep that Dooney & Bourke wallet, too!

Anonymous said...

Well I would LOVE to have you and your darling husband as neighbours!! I can't believe that folks would not respond to an invitation -- just a sad lack of manners in this day and age! Keep trying -- you never know what may happen! And you are just the best at finding treasures too! Just love your blog!

Jan x at Rosemary Cottage

RealEstateGirl said...

that cheesecake looks DIVINE! I'm gonna have to try it!

cherry menlove said...

Rhoda
What a great time you had at the yard sale. Goodness me, you certainly did manage to grab yourself some treasures. I love the black top and I'm sure you looked beautiful in it at church on Sunday.
Thank you so much for having a peek through the archives over at PW. I too have added your lovely blog to my link list.
Wishing you a beautiful day from a sunny England

Love
Cherry xx

Marie said...

Rhoda,
It is a shame that the turnout for your party was poor, but all credit to you for taking the time and trouble to organize it.

I cannot understand people these days - they don't RSVP or if they do and say they will attend, they don't come...it happened to me at Christmas when I organized an Open House. Then someone said to me afterwards, oh well, if it was an Open House, perhaps people did not feel that it was necessary to respond to the invitation!

I am certain that you are now better acquainted with the neighbours who did make the effort.

Thanks for your kind comments on my blog.

Marie x

Betty Jo said...

You're so right. Neighborhoods are not what they used to be. But it sounds like you had a good time anyways. I'm sure the folks who came really enjoyed your delicious cheesecake. Thanks for the recipe. You found some wonderful buys. I'm looking for shelves just like the one you purchased but haven't found any for $2, that's for sure. xoxo

HeatherJ said...

The cheesecake looks delicious! I love your header too. How did you do the picture of the swing? I like how it is burry and focused.

Jen said...

I ventured over to your blog from Southern Heart, and I am so glad that I did! I adore your decorating ideas, pictures of you gardens, and such a marvelous idea to bring a neighborhood full of virtual strangers closer by throwing a dessert evening. Your cheesecake looks delicious and I can't wait to try it.
~Jen

Southern Heart said...

Rhoda, I think that your idea was a lovely one, and you're right about people's attitudes being a bit different. People do seem more prone to staying to themselves on the whole. They certainly missed some yummy food and good company! Your recipe sounds wonderful.

I love your finds, too...that top must have looked adorable on you! You find the neatest things!

justabeachkat said...

Yum...cheesecake! Love the shirt you found. So cute! Girl, you are good at finding great things at yard sales.