Every Thanksgiving growing up, my family had a large potluck dinner with friends. My mother is from Ireland and all of our family was an ocean away, so we combined forces with other Thanksgiving orphans. One of our close friends, Miss Betty, always brought a pumpkin cheesecake, and it was the dish I looked forward to the most every year. When I went to college, Miss Betty began making two pumpkin cheesecakes–one for the potluck, and one for me to take back to school. This year, for the first time, I tried my hand at making my own. It was not the first time I’ve made a cheesecake, but it was my first try at anything but plain cheesecake. It was wonderful! Of course, it could never match Miss Betty’s culinary masterpiece, but it soothed the homesickness for a time long past. I used the Paula Dean recipe, and suggest crumbling the Graham crackers yourself rather than buying Graham cracker crumbs. The flavor of the cheesecake is also fuller after 24 hours of rest.