The Women of St. Paul’s happily held their semi-annual Sherry Party last week at Kathy Berry’s house. There are not many women who can boast a full and matching set of sherry glasses. Even women who are not particularly fond of sherry could not resist at least a little tipple because the glasses are so cute. But then most of us switched to our party drink of choice: wine.
Wine is big in the Episcopal church. I learned this very early on when Mark and I were invited to a newcomers reception at the rectory. Punch and cookies? No, sirree. Red or white? Cabernet or
Chardonnay? I fit right in from the get-go. I will get to the tremendously popular chili-dusted pimento cheese balls in a moment. But if there is a picture that completely sums up my love of the Episcopal church, here it is. Father Bob at the bar. It’s a refined bar, to be sure. Several types of sherry, ranging from sweet to dry. And red or white? Cabernet or chardonnay? We are quite picky about our wines. None of that white zinfandel stuff. No, no, no. Despite our reputation as Whiskeypalians, we are not the types to slug back a shot behind the social hall.
So, of course, the food was fabulous. But the standout, to me, were the chili-dusted pimento cheese balls. I have been to a cocktail party or 200 in my day, but I have never tasted anything like these creamy cheesy puffs. I had never even heard of them. I actually went around the party, holding up one and asking, “Did you make these?” I could not, sadly, find the creator. So, I have what I think is an approximate recipe I found on the internet and I would give credit where credit is due but the recipe was submitted by “anonymous.” How sad. There is glory in this recipe. There really is.
Chili-dusted pimento cheese balls
1 large package of Velveeta cheese (room temperature)
2 jars of Kraft pimento cheese (room temperature)
1-8 ounce package of cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 dash of Tabasco sauce
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup paprika
Blend cheeses into mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and garlic. Blend with electric mixer until smooth. Add salt and pepper.
Combine chili powder and paprika onto large plate. Shape and roll into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in mixture of equal parts chili powder and paprika until coated on all sides. Put the balls on a cookie sheet and refrigerate them to let them firm up. Serve on top of party crackers.
(Note: I modified the recipe to make the balls smaller and chill them more efficiently. If you want to make the 3- or 4-inch balls the original recipe calls for you will look like a big fat pig. I’m just saying.)