Something was wrong with me as a kid. I mean really wrong with me. I had some bizarre aversion to certain cheese products. I think I mentioned here before that something in my brain thought that the pimentos in pimento cheese were pieces of fish (I really have no explanation for this), therefore I was well into college before ever trying pimento cheese. Obviously, I’ve made serious changes in my life to rectify the situation. And again, with the cheese ball I had this notion that it was just wrong and bad and no. The holiday cheese ball that always came out for parties. I never tried my grandmother’s — who we called Mimi — cheese ball, always sitting there in a perfect globe amongst festively fanned out crackers, that little cheese spreader resting next to the tray.
Again, I was missing out on amazing cheese creations for no reason. Luckily, my dad has a repository of my Mimi’s very 70s-tastic recipes for me to draw from to bring back a little bit of that holiday nostalgia that we all could benefit from. I made him taste it at Christmas dinner this year to verify that it was the same as he remembered, even though he doesn’t like pimentos either … but not because he thinks they are fish, because he is extremely aware that they are vegetable matter.
Mimi’s Cheese Ball
- 1 large cream cheese
- 12 oz cheddar cheese
- 1 jar drained pimentos
- dash salt/pepper
- 1 small package pecan pieces
- Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature while you grate the cheddar cheese.
- Once the cheeses are softened and grated, respectively, combine the cheeses, the drained jar of pimentos, and the salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Use a rubber spatula to begin coaxing the cheese into a vaguely ball-like shape once all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Pour pecan pieces onto a flat plate and use your fingers to get them to be in a single layer on the plate, and use the spatula to drop the cheese ball in the center of the nuts.
- Use your hands to coat the ball with the nuts. Sprinkle nuts over the ball, and gently roll it around the plate until the whole thing is covered.
- Lightly wrap in saran wrap and put in the fridge to chill for at least 15 minutes, or for a day or so if making in advance.
- Remove about 15 more minutes prior to serving and transfer to a different platter if desired.
- Garnish the tray with an assortment of crackers and a cheese spreader for easy dipping.