This weekend, my mother in law was hosting a family luncheon.  Being the dutiful daughter in law, I offered to bring something.  Normally I would be in charge of dessert, but this time was given the task of pre-lunch nibbles.  I like a challenge, so I gratefully accepted… but I had no idea what to make!

I went through a few ideas in my head, discussed some with colleagues and eventually my husband, but none of them seemed right.  I’m not even sure what made me think of it, but my mother’s recipe and standard “nibble” for family gatherings popped into my head… of course! A cheese ball!

This recipe goes back to the early seventies and was passed around by the ladies at  ‘Ma Bell’. It’s super easy to make and very, very tasty.  If made in the US, it is best served with Wheat Thins, but since they are hard to find in the UK, I served them with Carr’s Melts.

The ingredients:

12 oz/340g Cream Cheese

1/4c or 60g Mayo

1/3 c or 20g Parm Cheese (finely grated)

1/2 tsp Ground Oregano

1/8 tsp Garlic powder (optional)

1/2 cup or 100g  Walnuts (coarsely chopped)

Cling film/plastic wrap

cheeseball mixture

The recipe:

Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir together with a large spoon until combined. Form into ball shape and wrap with cling film/plastic wrap. Chill overnight to set.

mix on clingfilm

ball of cheese

When ready to serve, put coarsely chopped walnuts on a chopping board, waxed paper or baking parchment. Unwrap cheese mixture and roll in walnuts until covered.

walnuts before crushing

unwrapping the cheese

rolled in walnuts

To serve, place on a plate or in a shallow dish surrounded by crackers and a knife.

ready to serve

In this instance, I went really retro and brought out my Tupperware chip n dip that is from the 70’s.  In fact, my mom has this exact set that is still used today at family functions.  I loved it so much that I found one on Ebay for my own household. The butter knife pictured was liberated from my parents house when we visited last.  It was a truly retro “nibble” for the family luncheon.

cheese ball on display