It’s that time of year again! The weather is getting colder, and the trees have lost almost all of their leaves. I know the holidays are here when my mother makes her irresistible cheese ball. Perhaps I should be ashamed to say that I have tried dozens of types of cheese balls over the years. Some are cheddar-based, some have nuts, and some have a swirl of pink amid the cheese. My mother’s cheese ball, however, is cream cheese based, and it is by far the best of the best! Plus, it is simple to make.
Each year, from the time I was a small child, Rook and incredible holiday food have been a major part of our holiday celebrations in my parents’ home. Before I was old enough to play the card game, I can remember my parents and my aunt and uncle playing for hours. There was always food with the games: cheese ball, beef stick, homemade holiday candy. Good times! When we were old enough to play, my brother and I took part in the games. Then, our best friends Brian Sebastian and Tammy Bouchelle took part in our family’s festivities for a number of years. Tied inextricably to these memories of cards, laughter, love, and Thanksgiving, are memories of my mother’s wonderful holiday fare. And…her cheese ball takes center stage to this day.
From start to finish, this recipe will take you approximately 20-25 minutes.
2- 8 oz.blocks of cream cheese at room temperature
1- 8.5 oz. crushed pineapple drained well
1/4 cup green pepper chopped very fine
2 tbsp sweet white onion chopped very fine
1 tbsp seasoning salt
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans
Crackers of choice: Ritz, Sociables, Triskets, etc.
Mix all ingredients except for pecans together.
Shape into a ball.
(Better if made a couple of days ahead.)
**Roll in chopped pecans before serving.