CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Joy’s Easy Cheesecake

The was a time when 5-and-10-cent stores (also known as five-and-dime stores or dime stores) were a 20th-century fixture in American downtowns. Then came the emphasis on specialty stores, and the rest is history.

But that can’t erase the memories of many people who are 50 or older. Going to the five-and-dime store was something we all grew up with and loved.

I remember going to Woolworth’s in my hometown. The main attraction for me was the part of the store where the pets were kept. I just loved checking out what was new each and every week.

Then there was a visit to the lunch counter for a snack. Next to going to visit my Auntie Florence Cramb, who worked at the Crookston Bakery, Woolworth’s lunch counter was my favorite downtown place to go for a tasty, sweet treat.

So when Becky Leguee Siani posted on Facebook a photo and recipe for Joy’s Easy Cheesecake — a Woolworth’s special  — that her mom, Ardie, gave to her years ago, the memories came flooding back.

Becky, whose older brother Rory was a “Carmen Addition” friend who shared my enthusiasm for anything baseball, said her mom remembers a large sign that hung in the window of Woolworth’s advertising this cheesecake dessert.

I don’t remember the sign but can’t forget the cheesecake. It was wonderful. I’m pretty sure that it cost more than a nickel or dime, but it was worth every penny!

Joy’s Easy Cheesecake
1 3-ounce package lemon Jello
1 cup boiling water
3 cups graham cracker crumbs (save ½ cup for top)
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 8-ounce package cream cheese (soft)
8-ounce container Cool Whip
Dissolve Jello in boiling water and let stand in fridge until slightly thick/set. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter and pat down in a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. In a large bowl, combine sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and cream cheese. Mix with electric mixer. Then add the slightly thickened Jello mixture. Beat until blended. Then fold in container of Cool Whip. Stir until smooth.
Pour over crust and sprinkle with the remaining crumbs.

Leave a Reply