Pineapple Cheese (really)

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1970s style Pineapple Cheese

I made a pineapple cheese ball. Pineapple shaped cheese is not something I ever thought I’d make, but I have to admit I’m sorta proud of how it came out. Still I bet you’re wondering what inspired me to make such a cheesy display.

It’s time once again for another episode of The Table Set podcast. This time we decide to climb into the Wayback Machine and revisit a simpler culinary time. A time when delicious pineapple cheese was considered a staple on the cocktail party circuit. The 1970s.

As usual Andy, Nathan and I split the duties when it comes to food and drink for this party. We even use authentic Betty Crocker recipe cards from the era for inspiration. But I have to admit that I’m old enough to have plenty of period inspirations of my own. They mostly include Kick the Can, tree forts and Friday nights with the Brady Bunch. The 1970s were a great time to be prepubescent!

However, while Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy were making me and my friends roll around on our beanbags with glee, my parents and their friends were Doing The Hustle with Lancers and their own version of a pineapple cheese ball.

Pineapple Cheese Ball

The 1970s may be remembered as the grooviest of all decades, but in reality it was a pretty cheesy time. Everything was big and a bit out of proportion. Flared pants, folded hair and wide lapels. The “fashions” may have been questionable, but there were good times too. Muscle cars, jello molds, reel to reel tape players, Shake a Puddin, and smiley faces all around. You get the idea.

Thanks to my parents and their friends I remember elaborate fondue pots, fruit-studded Jello molds and neon yellow Harvey Wallbangers. In fact the Harvey Wallbanger is the only drink I can recall being served at the bar in our wood-paneled, plaid-clad rumpus room. My parents were much more beer and wine folks. However, when it came to parties, my mom would get all dressed up like Mary Tyler Moore, my dad would flip the collar of his shirt over his jacket lapels, and The Eagles would blast out from 3-foot tall Zenith speakers. When the party got really wild Harvey Wallbanger would get splashed onto the harvest gold shag carpeting. Harvey Wallbanger is probably why they chose harvest gold in the first place.

So when it came time to for The Table Set to throw our own retro romp that we’re calling “That 70’s Episode” it wasn’t hard for me to reach back (way back) and get inspired with period perfect party favors. So tune in and listen because there’s more to this party than a picture perfect plate of pineapple cheese. GREG

The Table Set 70's Party

1970s style Pineapple Cheese

Pineapple Cheese Ball with Pecans

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Pineapple Cheese Ball

Ingredients

  • 32 ounce cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple (well drained)
  • 4 scallions (white and light green parts, minced)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • whole pecans for garnish (as needed)
  • 1 pineapple top (as garnish)
  • crackers (for serving)

Directions

Add the cream cheese, crushed pineapple, green onion, garlic powder, and cayenne to a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula mix the ingredients until very well incorporated.

Scrape the mixture onto an appropriately sized serving plate. Form into a slightly elongated dome. Garnish with whole pecans in slightly overlapping rows, mimicking the skin of a real pineapple. Place the pineapple top at the top (shaving the base off at a slight angle to be assured that it sits properly). Chill until firm, at least 3 hours and up to overnight. Serve with crackers.