Invite a Southerner to bring an appetizer.
Yup, there’s one thing that you can count on us Southerners for at the holidays: quirky starters. From mixing up sharp cheddar with Rice Krispies to assaulting cream cheese with a river of brown sauce, we do it up riiiiiight, y’all.
Here’s what I consider the Quirky Trinity + 1 of Southern apps.
Note too that they are also surprisingly tasty.
My mother started making these when I was a kid, and I confess to never quite getting the hang of making them. That may result from my insistence at using low-fat cheese. She and my mother-in-law were appalled, so I gave up trying to making them. Maybe I’ll try again next year? Until then, this is the recipe that my Mom used when she could still cook.
Cream Cheese and Pick-A-Peppa Sauce (“The Big Easy”)
A friend made this at her family’s house one Christmas when I was in my late ‘teens. I thought it looked completely disgusting, but I felt compelled to try it. Then I loved it. Basically, you take a block of cream cheese and smother it with Pick-A-Peppa Sauce. You serve it alongside those tiny, flat wheat crackers.
Cream Cheese and Hot Pepper Jelly
My mother-in-law loved this stuff, and I thought of her instantly when I saw this on Pinterest:
She’d have just loved the Christmas tree shape, even if she preferred the green-hued pepper jelly made from jalapenos.
Much like the Pick-a-Peppa/cream cheese, er, assemblage, for this one you coat the top of a cream cheese brick with pepper jelly. And you serve it with those same little tiny wheat crackers. Whether or not you doll it up by cutting the cheese into holiday shapes is entirely up to you.
Another fave of my late mother-in-law’s, these are Kryptonite to any attempts at maintaining your weight during the holidays. So good. Sooooo good. And lo and behold Miss Paula Deen has done stole the family recipe… right off the box of Bisquick where everyone else got it. I’m quite confident, however, that my MIL’s tasted better than Miss Paula’s.
Now that I’ve wowwed you with New Year’s Eve appetizer suggestions, take a gander at my Pinterest board, where there are some recommendations for holiday movies, too.