Daniel Roy Greenfeld

Daniel Roy Greenfeld

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Apologies to Katie

This was originally posted on blogger here.

Katie Cunningham is a good friend of mine. We met about nine years ago through a mutual acquaintance. We had a number of similar interests all tied to general geekery and kids. I've always appreciated her honesty, humor, and work ethic. In December 2006 I got her a job at NASA, which eventually got her involved in Python and various related communities.

One thing I like about Katie is that she likes to cook and she always does so from scratch. Her focus is on a mix of various savory dishes and baking. Since she takes care to find out her friend's allergies and preferences, it is a rare moment when people do not like what she cooks. One of my absolute favorites is a blackberry cobbler that she makes, which she does not destroy with loads of sugar. She knows that when taken in quantity sugar adversely affects me and that I also love blackberries.
I'm good at entrees and appetizers and sides, but baking is beyond me unless I use a pre-mix. So I really respect what Katie does.
So anyway, recently on [twitter](https://twitter.com/) when she was discussing bagels with [Jacob Kaplan-Moss](https://jacobian.org/) I called her out publicly for putting icing on cheesecake. As an [Ashkenazi Jew](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi) from family who spent generations in the New York area (although I was raised in Maryland) I'm picky about cheesecake. Legal toppings are berries, and going crazy with toppings is having those berries in a heavy glaze.
Well, it turns out that the illegal toppings cheesecake instance was not done by Katie, but rather her mother. Katie's mom is a wonderful lady who is also a cook whose work is worth tasting and all around wonderful person. But she puts a thin layer of sour cream icing on cheesecake. While I'm sure somewhere there is a Jewish law against illegal toppings on cheesecake, Katie's mom's defense is that she is not a Jew. And I certainly appreciate her Southern style fare.
So, for what it is worth, this is my public, formal apology to Katie. She rocks and if you are smart, you'll convince her to bake for you.

4 comments captured from original post on Blogger

Doug Napoleone said on 2010-03-02

You forgot chocolate; and how dare you forget chocolate!!! Chocolate drizzled in a lattice on top of cheese cake is quite the legal topping. And if there happen to be berries between the chocolate and the cheese cake, that is doubly legal.

Slestak said on 2010-03-02

As a southerner who just moved out of Maryland (whew!), we can certainly churn out some highly creative desserts and entree's.

Food differences are so funny. Everyone's RightWay to make potato salad for instance. It is a great way to introduce cultures.

I could be a food tourist. Please someone pay me to go eat other peoples food. My favorite lately is a Bosnian bakery and grill here in Kentwood, MI. Nom-Nom.

brian said on 2010-03-02

Does it really count as an illegal topping to put a very small amount of one of the actual ingredients of the cake on top of it?

(I'm pretty sure sour cream is an ingredient of cheesecake. If not, ignore me)

pydanny said on 2010-03-03


Very light chocolate drizzle is the sort of thing reform Jews can get away with doing. For those of us raised Orthodox or Conservative, I don't think its legal.


What I've seen Cantonese people do to cheesecake is... um... creative. But not legal!


That sounds simple but really its going down a dark, evil path best left untread. For example, Katie's mom used Sour Cream Icing, which is illegal and caused all this chaos.


Planet Python needs to know every sordid detail of my crazy, chaotic life. Including the apologies.

Tags: friends apology food personal legacy-blogger
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