I love the holidays!
And they are approaching so fast, just like they do every year.
Seems like just last week it was summer, and we were waiting (counting the days) for school to start back.
Now it's October, Thanksgiving is just a month away, and then Christmas!
If we want to start really counting, it's only 8 weeks till Christmas.
I have started my shopping at least (I've bought 3 presents so far.)
Now we always do Christmas at home. If you have children I think you should. The excitement of knowing Santa is coming, the ritual of putting out milk and cookies, waiting for everyone to be asleep, finally!
(Insert what you all know happens next)
Then Christmas morning, When the kids wake up, I don't know who's more excited, the kids to see what Santa brought or the parents to see the look on their faces.
And all of it involves food.
Starting at Thanksgiving all the way to New Years.
Every family has traditions and traditional food for the holidays.
One of our traditions is a snacky Christmas eve. We do this for a few reasons.
1) My hubby is a Christmas eve shopper. He's gotten better over the years and will buy a few things before Christmas eve but he always goes out on the day before Christmas and picks up whatever he thinks he still needs to get. Sometimes he's home by 2 in the afternoon, other times he's wandering in closer to 7pm. So snacking is the only way to go.
2) No one really has a big appetite. The excitement, the preparing of food for the next day, sampling Santa's cookies to make sure he gets the best. Sometimes it's easier just to have the nibble food.
3) Storage. There is already a huge turkey in the fridge along with other items for the Christmas day meal. There is absolutely not an inch of space in the fridge for one more leftover.
4) Reuse. Any snacks not eaten Christmas eve are put right back out after Christmas breakfast, to hold over anyone who is "starving" while waiting for the turkey to be done.
One of our favorite snack foods is a Cheese ball. And it's not just any Cheese ball. The official recipe is "Plains Special" Cheese Ring by Rosalynn Carter, and yes, this would be President Jimmy Carter's lovely wife.
It comes out of a cookbook, The Best of Byron, From our Kitchen to Yours.
1 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup chopped nuts
1 small onion grated
black pepper to taste
Dash of Cayenne
Blend all ingredients in a large bowl.
I put half the cheese in and blend in the mayo
The I add my seasonings, blend again
Then my onions
and nuts, mixing in after each addition
and then the rest of the cheese
Refrigerate for a few hours before trying to mold
Now take a good amount and place on some plastic wrap
fold over wrap and start to shape
unwrap and place more nuts on the plastic wrap
use the plastic wrap to mold nuts to your ball to cover
Wrap ball back up and place in refrigerator until ready to serve
You can also serve this cheese ball as a dip, when I do, I add another cup of mayonnaise for a smoother consistency.