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Everyone has a place in the kindgom of family.

The extended family, that is.

You know…the in-laws.

I am sure I’m the favorite son-in-law, the competition isn’t all that tough.

And I cook, help clean up the kitchen after holiday meals, and am generally just “a great guy”.

Work with me, OK!

But, the reality is that with each family member: neice, nephew, sister-in-law and so on.  You have a distinct value.

We’ve spent many Christmases at Grandma’s house in Florida.

They are always fun, the food is GREAT, and the family interaction entertaining if nothing else.

This Christmas due to the busy schedules of my children, Florida was out of the question.  Shelby had to work Christmas Eve and Donovan worked Christmas Eve morning. 

They both got home on Christmas Eve – late.

I worked the day after Christmas, so Florida was just not an option.

Enter my Nephew Nick.

Now, Nick’s a great kid for a Gator fan, and always gives me a great big, sideways, man hug when he sees me.

I now know why I’m so popular.

When his dad broke the news that UP wasn’t coming to Florida this Christmas, Nick looked – according to his dad – crestfallen.

His reply to the news, “UP isn’t coming for Christmas?

long thoughful pause

“Will there be a cheese ball?”


Yeah, it’s great to know just how important you are. 

And a tad humbling.

So, as a added benefit to today’s post, here’s my cheeseball recipe.  I’ve made it for over 35 years, and have to give credit to an old friend from the Phone Company, Susan Lovinggood.

UP’s Cheese Ball

2 pkgs of Cream Cheese

2 small jars of Armour Dried Beef, chopped finely

2 Scallions (I won’t tell you that scallions are green onions, since Jenny was tres offended when I defined them for her…after all, she’s always bemoaning her cooking skills…)  chopped finely

1 tsp of Worchestshire sauce or A-1, your choice

1/4 tsp of garlic powder or garlic salt, or you can get all Barefoot Contessa and actually press a clove of garlic.

Mix well, I use a hand mixer, but a food processer will work.

Shape into ball, I wrap it in wax paper so as not to get it all over my hands…and touch it all over…eww.

Let sit in fridge for about four hours, remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving.

Serve with Wheat Thins or Triscuits.

It’s great!  Enjoy.

You never know, it may just become your claim to fame in the family.

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