happy birthday, john

[this blog post is best paired with louis armstrong’s “cheesecake”]

i make a cheesecake every year for john steinbeck’s birthday.

i’m going to be out of town on the 27th of february, so i made his birthday cheesecake this weekend.

john steinbeck wrote my favorite book, east of eden. below is my favorite part of the book—the dedication to his friend and editor, pat:

Dear Pat,

You came upon me carving some kind of little figure out of wood and you said, “Why don’t you make something for me?”

I asked you what you wanted, and you said, “A box.”

“What for?”

“To put things in.”

“What kind of things?”

“Whatever you have,” you said.

Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts- the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.

And on top of these are all the gratitude and love I have for you.

And still the box is not full.

JOHN

happy 116th, john.

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