Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Friday Friend Recipe #214 and #215 - Pineapple Cheeseball and Caramel Apple Pie

Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.

What is the Friday Friend cookbook? I had about 50 of my closest friends and family on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends (from all over the county). At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 18 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions, exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts, had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday. (plus so much more....)

AND, we contributed recipes for a cookbook.
I was looking at the cookbook the other night and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog."
The Handyman--who knows me better than I know myself (this happened to be a question on the Friday Friend forum once---does your spouse/partner know you better than you know yourself?)--said,  "you'll never, EVER do that."

WELL---maybe I'll show him!  Maybe I will.

Which brings me to this... recipes 214 and 215
My Mom's Pineapple Cheeseball and Caramel Apple Pie

Rumor has it that after tasting just one bite of our apple pie, Johnny Appleseed sat down, and never planted another seed. For he knew that he had finished what he set out to do; plant apple trees until he found the world’s best apple pie.

That's a quote I stole from a bakery--The Montgomery Bakehouse Bakery-- but it describes this pie. 
It's perfect!  That is if you love caramel apples.  And I do, so it is--perfect!

This is actually one of my favorite cheeseballs--and I am a connoisseur of many.
There is no strong (stinky) cheese to offend anyone's immature pallet.  BUT alas, there is pineapple, so there will be naysayers.
Ignore them---this is really good.

These are my mother's recipes.  She used to make them around the holidays.  The pie for Thanksgiving, the cheeseball (she actually made 3 different cheeseballs for her holiday Christmas eve table) for Christmas.

Now I have to meander just a little bit--last year for Christmas, I got the Handyman and I ancestry kits from Ancestry.com  The Handyman had just found out that he wasn't Italian anymore (altho his mother refuses to believe it, even tho she and two of her sons have had their DNA done.  She grew up speaking Italian, eating Italian and celebrating Italian, but this is not part of this story) and I wanted to be surprised by some sort of culture in my DNA.
While we waited for results, my children, grown men in their 30's, kept sending me photos of white rice and wonder bread.  And....they were pretty much correct.  My DNA results came back (as no surprise) 68% British, 12% Scotland and Ireland and less than 8% Western European (Germany).
Like I said, this came as no surprise to me, but it was a disappointment.
Because I wanted some culture!!  Especially culinary culture.  
Below are photos of my sister-in-law and my daughter-in-law, from Guam and Mexico.
At Christmas time, I have been lucky enough to be at their homes (at different times of course) to taste their glorious meals!
Pozole and Tamales!  Lumpia and Chicken Kelligan!
There are such traditions in food.  Traditions and culture and familia!!
I'm stuck with -- Apple pie and a cheeseball.  Which I love, don't get me wrong -- I just don't feel very embedded in a culture or ethnicity --I don't have a cultural identity!!  
Our Italian-ness was stolen from us, stripped away --well, okay, that was the Handyman, but it was mine thru marriage--that counts, right?

The bottom line is--I want good food for holidays!
Ham, cranberries, deviled eggs, cheeseballs, apple pie is---well now, wait wait!--that sounds really good!
We have our mincemeat pie too! (and white rice and wonder bread 😏 )

I guess what I really want is for everyone to be together and have a holiday smorgasbord!
(and that's Swedish--which is what the Handyman mostly is now--ha ha--we always knew he was a little bit, but now it's prominent! )
Swedish, from smörgås ‘(slice of) bread and butter’
 Wonder bread and butter! (I'm nailing this!)

I want Rich's mom's spaghetti sauce and I want homemade lasagna and pozole and tamales and lumpia and kelligan all in one spot at one time, with everyone eating and laughing and eating and playing games and eating and talking at the same time and eating good food!
There is a theme here--food and family.

So below are photos of 2 of my favorite family members who are really good cooks.
My son Luke and my brother Kevin!
Just kidding --- the good cooks are their better halves, my daughter-in-law Mara and my sister-in-law Sylvia!  Shown also with my mom, because these  'American' recipes are from her.
And they're very good!

Some Cheeseball facts:
"According to legend," writes Michelle Buffardi, author of Great Balls of Cheese, "the first cheese ball in recorded history was made in 1801 by Elisha Brown, Jr. on his farm and presented to President Thomas Jefferson" at the White House. It's said to have weighed 1,235 pounds and was referred to as the "mammoth cheese."

The cheese ball seemed to go underground until 1944, when a cheese ball recipe, reportedly for the first time in print, showed up in Virginia Safford's cookbook, Food of My Friends.

And Apple Pie facts--- I rest my case. 
Apple Pie. "As American as apple pie" is a commonly used phrase in the United States. However, the origin of apple pie really dates back to 14th century England, so the phrase conveys the feeling of American wholesomeness more than American origins

This is recipes #214 and #215  only 152 left to go!

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