Holiday Cheese Ball Creativity!

snowmanJane Gess, who works in the HR Department at Valley Natural Foods, may be the first self-proclaimed cheese ball fanatic. Her fascination with cheese goes back to childhood where she used to make pictures on the table and floor using cheese puffs! Her love for cheese as an adult has become a bit more sophisticated as she relishes in coming up with creative ways to serve the co-op’s holiday cheese balls at gatherings with family and friends. Now is also a great time for you to be creative with the deli’s holiday cheese balls because they are only $5.99 through January 5 as part of our Fresh Deals program!

“Working at Valley Natural Foods, it is fun to be creative and explore new foods, not only for health reasons, but just to learn how to do fun things to good food,” adds Gess.

This exploration process has led Gess to do many fun things to cheese balls this holiday season. For Thanksgiving, she used one cheese ball for body, raisins for the eyes, a beef jerky stick for his neck, a large marshmallow for his head, a stretched gummy worm for his wattle, a cashew for his nose and finally, pretzel sticks for feathers! This led her to think of what the cheese balls could turn into for December holiday parties and gatherings. Since this is one of the least snowy Decembers on record thus far, she thought it would fun to bring “snow” in a unique, cheesy way to parties to celebrate the holiday spirit!

Hence, this is how Mr. Big Cheese the Snowman was born. Gess built Mr. Big Cheese using three holiday cheese balls, crackers for his hat, pretzel sticks for his arms, candied-colored chocolates for his eyes, nose and buttons and raisins for his mouth. However, Gess also said you could stick black olives on the pretzel sticks as mittens, a sliced red pepper as a scarf and even use a carrot for his nose to be traditional!

However, be careful, because Mr. Big Cheese may develop a complex at your parties. See, he might try to be so cute that people could be afraid to destroy his cheesiness. This happened to Gess at Thanksgiving with her turkey cheese ball. Nevertheless, you have to tell your guests that he really is not a snowman, but a tasty cheese ball and it truly is okay to dig in with those crackers! You might have to make the first ceremonious dip to get the party started. Yes, in the process, all the crackers will make Mr. Big Cheese into a little cheese and he may completely melt away into people’s tummies. Yet that is okay too because at least your guests will take away a bit of lingering holiday spirit and joy infused from your party that could become a memorable conversation piece for years to come. If you are too distraught, you can always invite Mr. Big Cheese back next year or just let him crash your next party! Who knows, he might just turn into a cheese ball, candied-decorated tree instead!

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