Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Auntie Fran's Cheese Log

Sorry for the delay, folks; I realize it's Tuesday night and I usually post Sundays. I have a good excuse, though: I was cat sitting with a friend for some professors. It was splendid. I broke past the minimum page requirement for my thesis (80 pages!!), read a lot, finished watching Arrested Development, and I wasn't even allergic to the cat! It was a weekend simultaneously busy and relaxing, and since I know you must have a lot going on weekends too, I'm sure you can excuse my tardiness concerning this week's post.

Especially since the recipe I'm offering you is a tried-and-true tasty hors d'oeuvre that's so so easy. It's my Auntie Fran's cheese log. Yes, cheese log, that quintessential American appetizer of cheese spread rolled in chopped nuts. I say it's quintessentially American for two reasons: 1) it's my Auntie Fran's recipe, and she was a Memphis cook through and through even after moving to Florida, which means she excelled at foods for potlucks and picnics; and 2) I made it for an event at which I knew an Australian woman would be present because I thought it a quirky food-based welcome to the US.

Why am I suddenly feeding random Australians, you ask? Well, first of all, let me sure you that this was no random Australian whom I shared hors d'oeuvre and conversation with this evening. The Australian woman is Anne Orford, Australian Professorial Fellow and Director of the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at the University of Melbourne and panelist at this weekend's Humanitarian Intervention Symposium at my university's ethics center. I read her book on humanitarian intervention in a class last semester, and several of my classmates got together this evening with Professor Orford, our class professor, and the former president of the university to discuss some of the issues in her book. And what's a little heavy conversation without snacks?

The event went well, and I'm greatly looking forward to this weekend's symposium. Professor Orford also enjoyed the cheese log (as well as the pesto crescents I made). I'm sure you will, too, as an Auntie Fran recipe simply cannot steer you wrong.

Auntie Fran's Cheese Log
from Fran Hunt

1 lb cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 tsp garlic, grated
1/4 tsp season salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 c chopped nuts

Cream together the cream cheese, garlic, season salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Beat in the cheddar cheese until the mixture is uniform. On a sheet of plastic wrap, form the cheese spread into a log shape; refrigerate 4-24 hours.
Before serving, remove the cheese log from the plastic wrap. Mix the chopped nuts with a bit of paprika, just enough to add a bit of flavor. Press the nut mixture into the cheese log. Serve the cheese log with a knife for slicing and an assortment of crackers (water crackers are my favorite).

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