We have another chapter to add to the story of cheese pies. Last week, Evelyn Hart sent in her mother-in-law's recipe, which has been a family favorite for years. Bill Hart, her husband, now has written to tell us more about this family treasure.
Here's his note:
''The Hart family was from the New Jersey/Philadelphia area a couple of generations ago. My paternal grandmother baked ''cheesecake pies'' (they were never called simply 'cheesecake') and the whole family loved them. The recipe probably entered the family cookbook during her generation. She was a great cook.
''There is a family story about the cheesecake pies. I do not know the date of the story, but it was a long time ago. Two of the family husbands (the extended family was large) set out from Philadelphia after finishing work on Christmas Eve.
''One of the men lived in Philly and the other in Trenton where the family was to gather that night to celebrate Christmas.
''Because everyone was leaving work and setting out for the holiday, the traffic was terrible. The pair had the idea to take a cheesecake pie home from a Philadelphia bakery, so they bought one.
''The train station was crowded. The train was crowded. But one or the other balanced the pie for the whole train ride and managed to keep it whole.
''They carried the pie, along with their luggage, through the crowded Trenton station and the two weary travelers arrived at the front stoop of the family's Trenton apartment house rather late.
''They congratulated one another on having brought the pie safely to its destination. But the door to the vestibule was locked. The pie carrier paused to set the pie and the luggage down on the stoop so that he could recover his key. In the few seconds that elapsed, a resident rushed out of the house and stepped firmly in the middle of the pie. So much for their good intentions. And what a disappointment! As you can see, cheesecake pies always have been a valuable commodity in the Hart family.''
Thanks, Evelyn and Bill! I'm sure we'll all remember your stories when we reach for our favorite cheese pie recipe.
When you do have a recipe to contribute, please provide your name, address and daytime phone number. Also give the full names of any cookbooks or magazines you use, as well as the author's name and publishing company, so that we can properly credit recipes that have come from printed sources.
Although we do not have room for every recipe that has been sent in, we want to thank all who have helped us this week, including: Florence Shoemaker of Bethlehem, Phyllis Ackerman of Red Hill, Mildred Trumboie of Sumneytown, Rose Almond of Northampton, Shirley Walker of Red Hill, Catherinee Hughes of Bangor, Joyce Kuntz of Slatington, Winifred Nierer of Walnutport, Mrs. Kenneth Stuber of Bethlehem, Roberta Molchany of Bethlehem, Jeanette Young of Wind Gap, Gloria Medl of Allentown, Donna Hirschbeck of North Catasauqua, Nancy Joseph of Allentown, Jean L. Brown of Orefield and Donna M. Dowlatshahi.
Carol A. Bertalan of Allentown is looking for a recipe for vegetable lasagna.
Marguerite ''Peggy'' Kuhn of Allentown sent in a recipe for Penn Dutch Corn Pie for Frank Stahler, who is looking for a tried-and-true corn pie.
Peggy said the recipe has been in her family for years and it's delicious. ''You can also use canned corn,'' she said. Catharine Ache of Bethlehem also sent in a recipe for Baked Pennsylvania Dutch Corn Pie. She said the recipe is from Walp's Family Restaurant Cookbook.
Maryetta Bitzer of Stroudsburg sent in a recipe for Nutmeg Sauce. She also sent one in for a Beef Eater Cheesecake for Judy Moyer of Schnecksville, who asked for a recipe for a refrigerator cheesecake made with zwieback. The cheesecake recipe is from Gloria Pitzer's recipe booklet, ''Secret Fast Food Recipes,'' April 1991.
Carolyn Bitting of Breinigsville sent in a recipe for Cottage Cheese Pie for Judy Ahart of Walnutport. Carolyn says ''this is very good and tastes like the old-fashioned cheese custard pie. It's from the Auxiliary of the Lynnport Fire Company by Mrs. Robert Feinour. Carolyn also sent in a corn pie recipe for Frank Stahler. This was made by my mother,Mary Youse, and passed on to her. Her family enjoys it every time she makes it, she said.