Roquefort cheese log DSC1295

Roquefort cheese log

Every family has its fair share of characters and mine is no different. It being the holiday season and all, I’ve wanted to make cheese logs and cheese balls for parties. I had a lovely memory of my grandma and I making these when I was little and so I asked her for her recipe. Along with the instructions came the story of Aunt Betty.

As you probably know by now, I come from a long line of farmers. Every once in a while, however, someone would leave the family business and move away to the big city. Such was the case with my great-great-great aunt Betty, my great-grandmother’s sister.

Twice divorced (quite a scandal, I’m sure, back in those days but at least she married well with one husband a lawyer, the other a doctor) she left rural Texas to be an Oklahoma City socialite. Whenever she’d come home to the tiny north Texas town of Melissa to visit, she’d both fascinate and annoy her family with her fancy cars, her fancy clothes, her fancy travels, and her fancy food.

Roquefort cheese log | Homesick Texan

In her later years she had to leave the city and ended up back in Melissa. Even though she had returned to her roots, she arrived with the experience of her many years of so-called sophisticated city living. And one of the spoils of this experience was her contribution to the holiday table—her cheese ball. It was unlike anything my rural relatives had seen before, and some sniffed that it was definitely not proper country food. But no matter, it was still a hit and my grandmother, fortunately, got the recipe from her aunt Betty.

Now, I was the kind of kid who loved free food samples (OK, who are we kidding—I still love free food samples) and whenever we made a trip to the mall, a stop in Hickory Farms was a must for me because they were always giving away slivers of summer sausage and smears of cheese that came from a nut-wrapped ball.

When my grandmother suggested we make a cheese ball, back when I was eight or so, I was surprised that you could make something like that from scratch. Even though all the ingredients are natural, there’s something sort of unnatural looking about it, if you know what I mean. To my uneducated eyes, a cheese ball seemed highly engineered, not something you could craft with your own two hands.

Roquefort cheese log | Homesick Texan

I was wrong, of course, and discovered that it’s surprisingly simple. Cream cheese mixed with some Worcestershire sauce, a bit of garlic, a handful of nuts and the cheese or your choice is the basic recipe for a whole host of cheese balls and logs. And the best bit is that they taste delicious, look festive and have that retro appeal that makes people smile.

With the holiday season is in full swing, I plan on sharing these cheesy creations with my friends soon and often. While I don’t think anyone today would consider a cheese ball or log terribly sophisticated, I’ll smile when I think about how it shocked my ancestors when it made its appearance on the farm’s holiday table, all those years ago. And, of course, I’ll think of Aunt Betty.

When I learned about Aunt Betty, my grandmother shared with me another cheese appetizer–her neighbor’s Roquefort cheese log. Now, a cheese log is simply a cheese ball’s elongated sibling, and this one is a savory, elegant blend of crumbled blue cheese, cream cheese, garlic, and pecans. I’ve been sharing it at holiday gatherings for years and it’s always one of the first snacks to be finished. A family favorite!

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5 from 4 votes

Roquefort cheese log

Servings 8
Author Lisa Fain

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 ounces Roquefort cheese (or any soft and creamy blue cheese), crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Crackers, for serving

Instructions

  • Mix the cream cheese, Roquefort cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and minced garlic until well blended. Taste and add salt if needed.
  • Roll into long tube shape and then roll in chopped pecans.
  • You may serve immediately with crackers, or chill it covered for three days before serving.

Notes

This recipe came from my Granparents’ former next-door neighbor, Norma Gaydos.

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59 Comments

  1. How funny…I grew up in Melissa. Of course it's a lot different "now that the yuppies took over", as my Dad says. My parents even moved to Farmersville to escape it. My grandparents still live there though and I miss it!

    By the way, that cheeseball looks tasty!

  2. A hankering for Hickory Farms Sesame Sticks sent me a-surfin'… and lo-and-behold, here I am:
    From OKC by way of Detroit, Pittsburgh and now Miami.
    As fascinating as it was to learn the foods of all three cities. it's blogs like this that make me realize Okie-Texa-Homa really does have its own cultural "cuisine."

    So ditto on:

    The Cheese Balls
    The Summer Sausage
    Hickory Farms
    Trailers
    Cadillacs
    And, of course, Aunt Betty

    I may have missed Melissa, but remember the Mean Joe Green McDonald's on the way to Dallas

  3. thecosmiccowgirl says:

    i was just poking around for a way to spiff up my annual roquefort ball, and lo 'n' behold, came across you're wonderful aunt betty story. i guess the cheese ball mixture tends not to vary much. i DO add a dash of cayenne and a few drops of cholula ('cos that's the kind of girl i am) and also a few teaspoons of very finely chopped celery and purple onion, then roll it all in some toasted walnuts. i suppose that's where my california upbringing comes in-i prefer them over pecans, but don't tell anyone here in texas! hope you enjoy your holiday.

  4. "Mom, I'm bringing an appetizer to the party – it'll be a surprise!"

    "Oh Lord – I hope it's not a cheeseball".

    HA! It was a cheeseball and it was the first to be polished off w/i minutes & recipe requested by all! We've laughed about that exchange for a long time now. But as much as I love it, I hate making it b/c it involves dusting off the food processor. Clearly, your recipe is so much easier and I CAN NOT wait to try it! MMMMMMMMMM! xoxo

  5. Anonymous says:

    I made a cheese ball back in the early 80's that was very easy just a box of cream cheese, a small box of velvetta, we used velvetta ALOT in those days, even in our king ranch chicken! LOL! and a small amt of garlic and whatever other spices you like and a package of finely chopped pecans. mix together well. form into balls and roll each ball in chili powder to coat and put them in ice box. Thanks for all your recipes! I am so missing texas right now!