C’est la temps des fetes, as my French family would say. Or is it too early for Christmas? Apparently not in this house, as I’ve already hosted a Christmas cocktail party/reading program for babies. If you imagined chaos in that situation, you’re not far off.
No, it wasn’t that bad at all. My sister, a soon-to-be librarian, hosted a reading program for babies and toddlers at my house, in part as a school project, and it went wonderfully. I decided to make it nice for the grown ups too, with wine and appetizers to tide us over. With eight babies ranging in age from 2 months to 2 and a half years, things just naturally got kind of loud. But goodness they were all cute, including the one little one who was really excited by the theme of the evening: “C’est Noel!”
I wanted easy to pick at food for the party, as well as easy to throw together. I settled on Crunchy Ham and Swiss Balls, and Almond Cheddar Crostinis. Both went over extremely well.
Crunchy Ham and Swiss Balls
2 cups very stiff mashed potatoes
2 cups finely chopped boneless carving ham
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, well beaten
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3-1/2 cups cornflakes, crushed
Combine all ingredients except cornflakes; chill. Shape into 1-in. balls and roll in cornflakes.
Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Serve while hot.
Almond Cheddar Crostini
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup slivered almonds, chopped
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 loaf (1 pound) French bread
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce; stir in cheese, onion, almonds and bacon.
Cut bread into 1/2-in. slices; spread with cheese mixture. Cut slices in half; place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly.
Word of the day:
Anathema: a person or thing detested or loather: that subject is anathema to him; a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction