Sunday's Superbowl got me thinking about cream cheese, which got me thinking about tailgating, and that got me thinking about an article I wrote for Saveur several years back, about the tailgating event to end all, the no-cars-allowed extravaganza that takes place every time there is a home game on the grounds of the University of Mississippi--OKA (only known as) Ole Miss. What? Tailgating with no cars? You ask. To which I can only say: Trust me.
Here's the story. No, here. It included some very wonderful and delicious ideas for things to do with cream cheese and it would include even more but there wasn't room. Here is one for Cream Cheese with Chutney. As promised... The recipe, as you'll see if you haven't already, contains cream cheese, butter, cheddar cheese, and bacon, which, as far as I'm concerned, deserves a standing ovation--or at least a high five—for flying in the face of everything we've been told not to eat in the last however long.
It's been a few years, and since the story ran, the following has happened.
Eli Manning, a senior playing in the game when I wrote about Ole Miss, is now from what I hear, a major league football star. Since I figure anyone reading about cream cheese already knows more about Eli Manning than I do, I give it to you here in Italian--just to mix things up. Here.
Leigh Anne Tuohy, the daughter of Aunt Jinny, the aunt of my host and the woman who contributed this extremely sweet and delicious caramel cake to the cream cheese-heavy event, was characterized by Sandra Bullock in the film The Blind Side. That's big. I knew her when.... she brought cream cheese to a tailgate. Though she probably and hopefully still does.
Sara Foster, cousin of above mentioned LAT and of sister of my host, called to tell me, sounding almost proud I thought, that she did not graduate from Ole Miss. She attended Ole Miss and then she moved on to work for a caterer in Lake Placid, where she tasted her first ever roasted red pepper whose deliciousness inspired a move to Connecticut, where she would work with a better caterer, Martha Stewart, which led to a job working for Jonathan Waxman, and eventually a store of her own, Foster's Market, where she makes and sells the best pepper jelly in the Western World... which, on a Wheat Thin slathered with cream cheese is about the best thing you could ever put in your mouth. But let the record show that she never graduated.
So I know it's National Heart Health day or something like that but... happy Cream Cheese Day, America! And because I love you, I'm going to give you the link to that life altering pepper jelly again. Do yourself a favor and order a case. Right here. High five.