Unsympathetic Sympathy

Unsympathetic Sympathy

One month after my husband’s death my daughter & I were attending Sunday morning service.  We were sitting with Jan & Tony, retired military friends, who had just mentioned some things that had to be dealt with after the death of a Veteran.  They were also concerned at how we were holding up.

The husband’s comment had me scrambling to look at our military ID’s, & I realized with a sinking feeling that Emily was turning 21 & her ID was going to expire in just 6 days!

Greg always handled the details of navigating the military system, so I was more than a little concerned how we would get this fixed in so short a time.

Just then, a young woman who had gone to high school with my daughter, a year ahead of her actually, came up to greet us.  She managed to say to my daughter, “I’m sorry about your Dad” before she thrust her newly acquired diamond ring in my daughter’s face to announce, “I’m engaged.”

I admit I was more than a little irritated at her joy in the midst of our sorrow-or perhaps it was the LACK of restraint on sharing her ‘HAPPY’ in the midst of our ‘SAD’.

After the girl left, Em & I exchanged a look.  Later we discussed how hard it is for people to really put themselves in our place when THEIR lives seem on track and OURS have been so significantly derailed.

We actually laughed together over the situation, & I believe we decided to forgive the ‘sympathetically challenged’ folks that came our way.  We also realized how genuine concern made such a difference!!

The next day, our friend Tony provided the number of the local military ID office and after only 10 phone calls, we knew exactly how to make that new ID happen!  Now THAT’S caring in action!

I’ve requested a recipe from Jan. She is a wonderful cook.  As soon as it arrives, I will post. Until then, I will share my recipe for Praline Cheesecake.

Confectionately Yours,



1-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. pecans, very finely chopped
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. melted butter

Chop pecans and graham cracker crumbs in food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine. Press mixture over bottom and 1-1/2″ up side of 9″
springform pan. Bake @ 350° for 5-10 minutes.
3 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened  
3 eggs 
1 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla 
2 T. all purpose flour
1 c. pecans, toasted
1 jar caramel ice cream topping

Beat cream cheese until very smooth, then add brown sugar. Beat until incorporated and use spatula to scrape the bottom. Lower the speed of the mixer and gradually add the evaporated milk, a little at a time until fully combined. When this is done, add the flour, and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Do not overbeat.

Pour into crust and bake in 350° oven for 50-55 minutes or until set. Cool in pan. Remove sides and place on serving platter. Sprinkle pecans on top and drizzle with caramel prior to serving.

This cheesecake freezes well and freezing allows for easy removal from pan.
Note: Cheesecakes are perfect for dessert buffets. They are rich tasting & can be made
well in advance, frozen, and removed from the springform pan bottom-allowing you
to use the pan for the next one. They  can be garnished while frozen on the platter, then
allowed to thaw in the fridge until ready to serve.