I picked it up while doing my grocery shopping – a boxed mix to make a cheesecake.  They’re good just to have on hand.  You can keep it in the pantry until it’s needed; and they’re super easy to make. It only requires a few minutes.  If I can do it, anybody can and I’ve made them on numerous occasions.  So the day had finally came and it coincided with a sweet tooth so I really needed to do this.  I had thought about it all week and my expectations grew over the course of several days.  I wouldn’t be denied the creamy goodness of one of my favorite desserts.

A lazy Saturday made the idea that much more inviting.  I gathered a few items that were required and took the box from the pantry.  Upon opening the packet to make the creamy filling, I noticed something strange.  All of the others that I had done simply poured out of the packet and into the bowl.  But this one was very different.  It wasn’t a powdery mix – no, not at all.  It more closely resembled a brick.  One solid block of stubborn cream-colored material.  It was so hard that I had to break it apart with my fingers.  There it lay . . . in the bowl with some cold milk.  I stared at it waiting for it to dissolve; but it didn’t.  Moving it around with the whisk did nothing to help.  Why was this one so unlike all of the others?  Where was the ease I had remembered and boasted about?  “They’re so easy to make,” I had told people.

The answer was given to me when I examined the box.  The expiration date was 2014.  We say, “Time flies by,” but had it been in the pantry for four years?  I had waited all week for this scrumptious delight and would not be deterred.  I dumped the mess into a blender and, with the push of a button, those troublesome lumps were reduced to the texture that I had remembered.  Back into the bowl, now it only needed to be whisked into a frothy delight.  But some worry entered my mind.  What if it also held some health risk?  Was it safe to eat?  It was worth the risk, I concluded.  Into the graham cracker shell and then into the fridge for an hour, some time would be required before the topping could go on.

That amount of time went by while I did some other things but what about that topping?  All of the other cheesecakes that I had made before did not include a pouch of liquid topping.  I used pie filling from a can and had even purchased one for this event.  Now it was time for the topping and the date on IT’S pouch was a couple of years older than the boxed mix.  Here came those worries again.  As I cut the corner of the pouch open, I instinctively smelled the contents.  Maybe it was my imagination but it seemed like . . . just maybe . . . it was a tiny bit fermented.  They do use berries to make wine and maybe these strawberries had been in the pouch just a little too long.  Again, I would not be deprived of that which I had waited all week for.  On they went and back into the fridge it went.  When evening rolled around, I cut a slice of it and took a taste . . . slowly . . . hesitantly; but it tasted okay.  “How will it affect me,” I pondered.  Would I have a hangover the next morning?  Would I be okay to drive to church?

Well, I finished the cheesecake after a few days; and I feel just fine.  I’ve got a warm feeling inside and my joints aren’t hurting either.