Party Cheese Ball

Over the weekend I went to a little cocktail party hosted by my friends Rick and Ronny, the proprietors of a little antique shop called Retrofurn on the Avenue here in Baltimore. If you follow me on Facebook and twitter, then you are probably familiar with some of their mid-century modern merchandise because I’m re-posting their fabulous stuff all of the time. Oh, if only I had another room to furnish!

Since was raised to never go to a party empty-handed, in addition to a bottle of wine (Cupcake Vineyards’ Red Velvet blend is delicious) I decided to bring a festively retro treat with me. But what to make? Canapes? California Dip? Pate? After perusing my collection (ah, how I love going through my collection!) I settled on Party Cheese Ball by Mrs. Arthur Gordon from Cook’s Choice (1967).

Why? Well, what’s more retro than a cheese ball? And what says party more than a dish that has the word party in it? Plus I just get a kick out of food that is ball-shaped. See, meatballsfish balls, sausage balls–last holiday season I made an excellent Apple-Cheddar Ball.

Anyway, I just did what Mrs. Arthur Gordon told me to—well, with the following changes-(because I can never go without making changes): instead of 1/4 pound sharp cheddar, I blended two cheeses I had on hand—Swiss and Cracked Black Pepper Cheddar. And the other adjustment was that I used cooking Marsala because I didn’t have any Sherry in my cupboard. Classy, right?

The KitchenAid made this really easy. It was really “set it and forget it.” Once it was mixed it went into the fridge.
I rolled mine in sliced almonds, salt, parsley, and lots of paprika
Here is my cheese ball riding shotgun on the way to the party.
And I brought my own dish–I love my spice o’ life cheese plate!

Well, it was a big hit! Everyone is used to those shrink wrapped port wine cheddar balls from the grocery store so mine was an upgrade.  And although there were a lot of different cheeses on the buffet—cheddar, brie, chevre—the blue cheese was a welcome, bold, addition.

If I made this again I think I would forgo the Swiss, decrease the blue cheese, and increase the white cracked pepper cheddar. I think that this would be great if it were punched up a bit—so of course I would increase the Worcestershire, hot sauce, and other seasonings.

It was a a great night. When a big bottle of pink champagne was opened, the cocktail party became in impromptu Question 6 celebration. A toast to equality and love and allies and friends and family and good ol’ civil rights!

I hope that there will be a lot more parties and a lot more celebrations over the holidays—I have a ton of party dishes to make!

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9 Responses to Party Cheese Ball

  1. shrink wrapped port wine cheddar balls? Yet another delicacy not available here in London dammit. Never seen butterfly shaped crackers either. I gotta move to Baltimore – Jx

  2. Alas, I could not find butterfly-shaped crackers when shopping in Montana this weekend. So jealous! The cheese ball looks really good – yay for retro food!

  3. missrose10 says:

    Jenny, stay where you are, we don’t have flavored kit kats like you do. I love that the ball rode shot gun but was upset it was not in a safty harnes. My Aunt makes one of those a year for her Christmas party and no one eats it I asked her why she puts it out and she said because she like the left overs. Silly woman.

  4. You know the owners of Retrofurn?!! I would die with envy every time they added a new piece to their store!
    BTW, if my imaginary band, “Bett White’s Cadillac”, ever breaks up; I’ll have to start a new band called “Mrs. Arthur Gordon’s Cheese Ball”. Our first release will be “Riding Shotgun on The Avenue” 🙂

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