It’s over for another year

Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
My recent trip to Devine was lots of fun with shopping, bunco and visiting. Thank you Sabrina for being such a great hostess with lots of delicious food, the evening was so very enjoyable.
Recently when I attended a Market Days show in a nearby town, one of the vendors was selling hand-made glass spider Christmas ornaments, and a book that I had seen and read quite some time ago. The spiders were made of glass beads, and if you bought the book, you got a spider free. They were truly beautiful. The book is called “The Legend of the Christmas Spider, and it is a Eastern European folk story. One of the versions that is available on Amazon says that it is the story of the origin of the tinsel that we use on our trees today. The gist of the story is that an old lady always decorated a beautiful Christmas tree, but one year did not get to decorate, for some reason, and the spiders wove their webs all around the tree because they felt sorry for her not being able decorate. It was a really cute story and Friday morning, my daughter checked it out on Google and according to Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia, the origins are not only German, Polish and Finland, but several other countries. One site is called The History of Tinsel and is by Nancy Valois, and another site if a book by Julie Puntch. Since my column was due almost as soon as I got home Friday, if you are interest in this, you can check it out on Google. It sounds really interesting.
Now that Christmas is over, you are probably about ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve, so here are a couple of recipes for dips that are tried and true.
French Dressing Dip
1 package (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup Kraft French Dressing
2 tbs. catsup*
2 tbs. mayonnaise
2 teaspoons very finely chopped or grated onion
Beat the cream cheese until smooth, and then beat in the French dressing, catsup, mayonnaise and onion until well mixed. Chill before using to allow flavors to blend. Serve with chips.
This is a very good basic dip that also makes a great shrimp dip. *For shrimp dip, I added about a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce and in place of the catsup, I used an equal amount of the bottled chili sauce and added a couple of teaspoons of prepared horseradish. For shrimp dip, drain and rinse a small can of shrimp, dice finely and stir in with the rest of the ingredients.
Dill Pickle Cheese Ball
1 package (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided use
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup finely chopped dill pickle, or ¼ dill pickle relish
1½ teaspoons pickle juice
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
4 to 5 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (thin sliced bacon)
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh dill
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth; then add the remaining ingredients until well combined and shape into a ball.
In a shallow bowl or plate, mix the bacon, cheese and fresh dill, and roll the cheese ball in this mixture until well coated. Chill before serving.
(Make ‘mini’ cheese balls, about ¾-inch in diameter; roll in the mixture and use a pretzel stick in each one to serve. (They need to be one-bite size, I made mine the size of a walnut and they were too big and my friends ended up having to spread them on chips).
Here’s wishing all my friends and readers a very healthy, happy and prosperous New Year. God bless you and be safe if you’re traveling!