Recently I was a guest at a beautiful ladies luncheon. It was the perfect kind of lunch with sweet tea, chicken salad, and precious cookies iced to look like lady bugs. Everyone looked so snappy. If you were raised by a person like my mother, you would not dare to show up at such an event without a small hostess gift. A pretty jar of strawberry jam seemed perfect. My hostess was delighted and immediately became one of my favorite people in the world when she promised to send me a recipe for a cheese ring filled with strawberry jam. It sounded delicious and vaguely familiar, like something from my childhood when all moms had a secret cheese ball or cheese ring recipes. In a flurry of thank you notes following the luncheon I received one thanking me for the jam and including the promised recipe. Well, I love a good thank you note – both writing and receiving them – but one with a recipe included is indeed a treasure.
I wanted to make the recipe for a Father’s Day treat, but a smallish problem was that the recipe needed to be halved for fewer people and I didn’t have a little ring mold, only a Bundt pan, so I “invented” one using a little cake pan lined with plastic wrap and a jar. The recipe included sharp cheddar – grating your own is always preferable, but not required, pecans, a little onion and garlic, mayonnaise, and hot sauce.
I did toast the pecans first to keep them crunchy and added half of the onion amount so there was less moisture.
The hot sauce was a perfect touch. The very interesting invented mold did not quite unmold in a way that needs to be repeated on a live TV production, but hey, it’s cheese. I just patted it in place and filled it with homemade strawberry jam. it was gorgeous.
Our Father’s Day was interrupted by a hospital visit to take care of an old injury, but the cheese ring was much appreciated for a homecoming celebration, which is why you are only now seeing this recipe. It would be well received for any occasion – beautiful for part of a 4thof July celebration, and perfect for a cocktail party. All my future gifts of strawberry jam will come with this recipe. Thank you to my lovely friend who shared her friend’s recipe. Now I’m sharing it with you. Shared recipes bring good memories, I hope this gives you many. Enjoy!
Note about directions: I toasted the pecans for more flavor and crunch and also cut the amount of onion in half.