… for cheesecake, which you said was very good. Well, it was not only “good” — it was TERRIFIC. As a native New Yorker, I know cheesecake.

I have moved and lost my recipe. Can you republish it? It’s the best!

– Cheesecake Lover

In Deland, Fla.


Thank you for the compliment. I’m glad to oblige. My mother made it — with either cherry or blueberry topping — and I have fond memories of raiding the refrigerator with her again and again for “just a smidgen” more!

I hope you will enjoy making this cheesecake for many more years, because I serve it with pride.

Abby’s Cheesecake


1½ cups graham cracker crumbs

½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)

1/3 cup powdered sugar


3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pint dairy sour cream (at room temperature)

1 (21-ounce) can prepared cherry, blueberry or strawberry pie filling

Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and melted butter. Press into bottom of 8-inch springform pan. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour mixture over prepared crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (until center is set). Remove from oven and spread sour cream on top of cheesecake. Return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Spread desired topping on cheesecake. Chill overnight. Before serving, carefully remove sides from pan. Serves 16.

Tip: To minimize cracking, place shallow pan half full of hot water on lower rack of oven during baking. And be sure the sour cream is at room temperature when you spread it on.


I am a senior who is confused by what seems to be a new rule of etiquette that one should never, ever comment on another’s appearance. Does it include complimenting someone on a new hairstyle or a new outfit, for example? Please clarify.

– Confused In California


In a work situation, among the subjects that should now be avoided are references to the appearance of a subordinate or a coworker because they could be construed as sexual harassment. However, in social situations, compliments are usually welcome.


I have a grandson who is turning 3. My son’s fiancee, “Tina,” watches him frequently while my daughter, “Lila,” works. On several occasions, Tina has done things I don’t agree with, but I have kept my peace. However, today Lila called me, extremely upset.

Apparently, while Tina was watching my grandson, she had another little boy there who is the same age as my grandson. She had taken it upon herself to potty train the boys, although nobody asked her to, and offered them ice cream if they used the potty. The other boy used it and was given ice cream. My grandson refused and didn’t get any. He cried because he had to watch the other child enjoy the treat.

I think this was cruel. Children learn at their own pace. My son is siding with his fiancee, and everyone is upset. Any advice?

– Extremely Upset Grandma


If she hasn’t said it already, your daughter should politely make it clear to Tina that she prefers to toilet train her child without outside help. If Tina gives her an argument, Lila should make other arrangements for child care. And you should stand back and let them settle it between themselves.