21 December, 2017

Stumped for a Last Minute Gift?

I can count the days from now until Christmas on one hand, a fact  I find both exciting and terrifying.  Every year it seems like I get a last minute invitation or surprise visit and I'm left scrambling for a gift.

The trend, at least among my friends, is all about downsizing, getting rid of junk, and only wanting gifts that can be worn out or used up--not one more thing to put on a shelf or in a closet. Books are always good, but sometimes it's hard to choose if you don't know the person well.

To that end, I offer you my favorite, DIY, comestible gift. It's quick, it's easy, and paired with a box of crackers and a nice bottle of wine, it's the perfect offering. I like to pack it in Christmas-y ramekins.

Cheddar Ale Spread

 6 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 1/2 lbs)
3 oz cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup ale or beer (not light, you want a robust flavour)
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1Beat cheddar, cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer - or in food processor - until smooth. Gradually beat in ale, mustard and crushed red pepper.
2Pack into stone crock(s) and cover tightly.
3Keeps well for several weeks.

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