Philly is a town that loves an underdog but can’t stand a loser.
Rocky remains our perennial hometown underdog hero, but losers are outnumbering underdogs this summer, and the case in point is the Phillies.
As an ardent fan, it is getting tough to watch them and hear them get booed. So, before the Eagles blitz goes running into the backfield and only memories (err… nightmares) remain, I’m offering a few tips to save the Phillies season.
I love the Phils, even if they can’t pitch, catch, throw or score runs. The team is wearing the right color shoes, but they might need to borrow Dorothy’s ruby slippers this year, if they ever want to get home.
Ever the optimist, I’ve got “High Hopes” that with a last-ditch effort before the last pitch is thrown this season, there is a winning solution. I’m aware that our Phillies pitchers have tried to use the fastball, the split finger, the curve ball and the slider without much success.
The Phils need to stop trading good players and focus on technique. What they need is the Cheese Ball!
Throw this “Cheese” over your plate and you will win every time. I’ve gathered some of my fresh herbs of summer to give the Boys of Summer a Fightins’ chance to score a good snack.
You don’t need a 100 mph fastball to “save” this recipe. Just use your scissors.
Put in a Bowl:
12 oz. cream cheese – room temperature
1/3 cup butter – room temperature
3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
Beat cream cheese with butter then mix in cheddar.
Add to Bowl:
2 Tbsp. brown mustard
1 clove garlic, minced fine
½ cup walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp. olives, chopped
3 drops Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
-Mix all ingredients together well.
-Mix: 2 Tbsp. fresh each or 1 Tbsp. dried each of the following– parsley, oregano, basil and chives
-Combine herbs and scatter onto large piece of waxed paper.
-Form cheese mixture into ball and roll and/or pat herbs onto ball. Mixture will be sticky. Chill to firm up the ball. Use roasted red pepper cut into strips to form “P.” Chop red pepper fine to form the baseball seam.
-Spread ball onto quarter slices of rye or wheat bread.
If you’re lucky enough to grow mint in your garden, here’s a good way to use some of it. Mint is a prolific herb that a neighbor or friend might want to share with you.
I like to use it all summer in iced tea. Food stores also have an abundant supply at this time.
3 sprigs fresh mint leaves plus one for garnish
¼ fresh lime
3 Tbsp. simple syrup*
1½ oz. rum
-With the back of a spoon, gently crush mint leaves against the inside of a large glass. Squeeze lime and add to glass along with simple syrup. Stir and add ice, rum and club soda to fill the glass. Stir and garnish with mint sprig.
*To make simple syrup: 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water
-In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
-Syrup can be made ahead and refrigerated in a glass jar for a few weeks.
-Extra syrup comes in handy if you want to make a pitcher of Mojitos.
-Omit rum for a non-alcoholic drink that tastes both crisp and refreshing. Great for “sprig” training.
The Cheese Ball and the Mojito recipe are a doubleheader that are sure to score cheers and rave reviews with family and friends. They’re a true home run. Like Harry the K used to say, they’re “OUTTA HERE!”
Eat well, live long, enjoy! ••
(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Northeast Times, 2512 Metropolitan Drive, Trevose, PA 19053.)