cheese puff

my favorite recipe

In ALL, FOOD LOVE by Stephanie Klein

It might not be glamorous, not even a little, but it makes me think of my childhood. Some kids wanted flat hamburgers, “like McDonalds does it!” Others wanted chicken nuggets and fries. I wanted–above all other things, including ice cream–cheese puffs. In kindergarten, we were instructed to bring in our favorite recipe for our class cookbook. I was then charged with lacing these white hole-punched photocopies together with thin rigs or yarn, then creating a cover with a few knit stitches and macaroni elbows. Sadly I cannot find this funky little treasure, but upon unpacking items from New York storage recently, I came across the book from which the recipe was originally taken. Calico Pantry, with all proceeds going to the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc. I hurried through the book, could it be? The very one with my cheese puffs recipe?! Ah, it’s there! And then, I just now looked at the ingredients.

2 cups sharp, grated Cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
pineapple chunks (or olives)

It not only sounds vile, it sounds inaccurate. 8 oz. is 1 cup. So am I to use 8 oz. or the 2 cups? Ooooh, I hate baking! Still, I am going to attempt to make these without the pineapple, as I’m quite sure Mom’s puffs were never contaminated with pineapple.

Mix all ingredients, except pineapple or olives, together with fork or fingers.
Cut pineapple chunks in half or use olives, and roll in cheese mixture into balls;
Or make plain cheese balls. (Now we’re talking).
Freeze on an ungreased cookie sheet until hard. Can be put into containers and kept frozen.
Bake frozen on ungreased pan in preheated 400 degree over for 15 minutes.

Next stop? Stuffed mushrooms. I miss Mom’s cooking. It seems what I loved most, and for what I have the fondest affection, is Hors d’oeuvres, even as an eight-year-old. Some things never change.