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, meatballs, fish 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?
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!