On Saturday, we’re hosting a small gathering of friends we’ve met since our arrival in July. It’s a hearty appetizer affair and everyone is bringing a favorite. So far, I know we have chicken pate and deviled eggs – two different entries to the buffet table but wouldn’t it be wild if they were combined! In search of new and different ideas of what to prepare, I went to the best research and development team I know – my Facebook friends.
My discoveries? No holiday spread is complete without the King of Christmas parties – cream cheese.
Shrimp in cocktail sauce: yummy. Shrimp in cocktail sauce drizzled over a block of cream cheese? Yummier.
Veggie pizza: perfect for the health conscious. Veggie pizza after first bite: Hello cream cheese. What veggies?
Spinach/ artichoke dip: warm, tasty, sensual. Spinach/ artichoke dip without cream cheese: Vegetables your mother made you eat. Nothing sexy about that.
My second discovery in holiday party fare? If cream cheese is the king, Velveeta is its queen. That’s right. If you were a child of the 50’s – 60’s, you know nothing beats the smooth, creamy melting ability of that artificially colored brick of enzymes and preservatives. Kraft can’t even call it cheese anymore. But do we care? Try making a Spicy Southwest dip without it. Or my friend’s Hanky Pankies which are apparently a “Midwest delicacy” of ground beef and sausage on a slice of cocktail bread covered with… you guessed it, Velveeta. And can you imagine Mac and Cheese bites without Velveeta? Forget what the FDA says – Mac and Processed Cheese Product doesn’t have the same ring.
Now don’t get me wrong. I appreciate all the other suggestions my friends provided. Especially those with bacon. Bacon jam, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, bacon cheese spread. If bacon is getting cooked, I have to work much too hard to get it in an appetizer before it gets to my mouth. Why the fuss? Why not just fry it and eat it? Last week at another party, I had a piece of well-cooked bacon on a graham cracker, sprinkled with brown sugar and broiled. Others were impressed. My reaction? I’ll take the cracker, bacon and brown sugar, hold the cracker and brown sugar, please. I wonder about serving just a platter of bacon?
Our gathering will be a good time, and I’m looking forward to getting to know each of these single women. By the end of the evening, I hope we each have at least one more colonoscopy buddy – you know, a driver for those pesky medical procedures. I’m not sure yet what I’m preparing, but I know at least one block of cream cheese will be sacrificed in the process. And I’ll probably make some baked brie which I love, just to class up the table, and maybe some fruit kabobs, but trust me, the cream cheese will be the star. And I can’t wait.