"I just thought it was a good recipe.”
Now what kind of newspaper debut comment was that? Mine.
That was my stellar quote when I learned I had won first place in the appetizer division of my hometown newspaper's recipe contest. The Wooden Spoon contest was in its second year in 1979, I was in high school, and my mother smelled victory in the Spinach Ball recipe I had recently discovered. She insisted I enter it. I hesitated because it was mostly somebody else’s recipe with a few tweaks from me. It felt like fraud, so I tried to be as humble and bland as possible in my moment of victory, even though nothing in the rules said you had to submit an original recipe. I enjoyed the thrill of leaving class to go to the Daily Leader’s office to get my photo taken with the other, adult winners, but I still stayed as low-key as possible.
Today I know that most handed-down recipes are not original. We all either copy a relatives, friends or cookbooks recipe verbatim or add our own twists, and sometimes, like it or not, these recipes become associated with us for all time.
Sometimes that connection is permanently enshrined, such as in a commemorative bound cookbook. One recently weekend, I went home for a visit and found "The Wooden Spoon Cookbook: 30 Years of Recipes" (ouch!) at a gift shop. I took a deep breath, opened to the appetizers, and there my Spinach Ball recipe was, in all its late ‘70s retro glory. Thankfully, the awkward photo of me in my peasanty top and oversized glasses was not included.
Enjoy these 2 good 2 be 4 gotten Spinach Balls during your next "Rock 'n Roll High School" or "Saturday Night Fever" viewing, your 30th class reunion or at any Emmys party. Every 1's a winner, as Hot Chocolate would say.
- 2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach
- 2 cups herb seasoned stuffing
- 2 onions, chopped
- 6 well-beaten eggs
- 3/4 cup melted cheese (you can use a cheese product such as Velveeta)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic juice
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
- 1 tablespoon Accent
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Cook spinach according to package directions; drain well. Mix with all ingredients. Roll into balls. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 36 (2-inch) balls.