Monday, October 16, 2006

I've Got Balls!!!...

     Well, almost.  At least I've ORDERED my balls already this year...the picture is actually from last year's shipment of balls.

     Oh, I'm sorry...I'm talking about CHEESE BALLS!!!  Cheese balls by the barrel(s) from UTZ on the East Coast.  Last year was the FIRST year Planter's stopped making their trashy, puffed crap product sold at all area Kmart/Walmart/Target stores AND they nearly ruined my holiday!

     For the past 6+ years, I have been carrying on my Grandma Goldie's tradition of making TV snack mix during the holiday season.  I was actually making the "product" year's before that, but over the past 6+, it's become more than a tradition...I started taking the snack mix in to work.

     The first year at my current job, I made just a few batches of the mix, and distributed tiny, little bags to each of my coworkers...they WERE tiny, but they also numbered about 40 total.  My coworkers loved it.

      The second year at my current job, my coworkers began to ask me if I was MAKING the "product" again for them?  I couldn't disappoint the masses, so I once again cooked up the "product" and doled it out amongst the starving and anorexic people I call friends and colleagues.  I noticed a change in their receipt of the baggies of "product", however.  They began to bicker over "who got more" and even sunk so low as to STEAL anyone's bag who wasn't expected in to work over the holidays, sighting a "stale factor" as rationale.  They were addicted.

     Over the course of the next few years, the batches of "product" became bigger and bigger as I tried desperately to quell the addictive habits of my friends.  They began exchanging certain food items in the "product" between each other...some preferring the nuts or cereal, others salivating over the prized cheese balls.

     Last year was a near disaster.  I started my ingredient shopping way too late in the season and couldn't find a can of Planter's Cheese balls West of the Mississippi.  I consulted with my only living blood relatives in Missouri and Kansas, the "Mecca Of Marts",  who were also experiencing the cheese ball one knew what to do and the frightening and hungry looks of my coworkers were growing ever so concerning...they were seeing orange and the taste of past snack mix lingered in their minds like that of a coyote's first kill.  It called for desperate measures.

     I contacted the COMPANY who makes and distributes (or at least USED to make and distribute) Planter's Cheese Balls...they wrote me a kind email back, apologizing, but clearly stating they no longer produced the blue-tin cans of crap...they offered no explanation and no serious alternative.  Planter's left me high and dry and about to be eaten alive by the group of snack-mix-hungry aliens I used to call friends.

     I resorted to the Internet black market...I had no other options.  I Googled and I searched, finally locating a company called "Utz" on the East Coast who produced a similar product.  I Amazon dot commed it...they carried it...they'd send me two BARRELS of puffy cheese crap in the dark of the night via UPS for a hefty price...the "handling" charges cost more than the barrels and they wouldn't ship me any LESS than two!  But, $30.00 later, I had what I needed to complete the coveted snack mix.

     This year, I'm starting early...I've ordered the balls, I've taken a second job to pay the enormous cost of the "product" (not really, but I like how that sounds), and I'm preparing myself mentally for what I like to call, "Snack Mix Day".  Some eight to ten hours later on Snack Mix Day, I will have produced EIGHT roaster pans FULL of Grandma Goldie's TV snack mix...50 small bags will be carefully filled, weighed (ah, I don't really weigh them either, but what the heck...while I'm on the drug-cooking theme, why not?!?), and distributed like junk food heroin to ward off a holiday drive by shooting of my home by my coworkers.

     Let's face it...I'm the Snack Mix Cartel...the junk food distributor...the dealer...and Grandma Goldie would be so proud...SHE had balls, too!


billibotton said...

This is one of the reasons I'm addicted to Cheese....very well written. GL with the exploration of your belly button..BB

pjorpeej said...

LOL!  I understood your fear.  Adicted people are dangerous people.  I have the same problem every Christmas Eve over my seafood "chowdah"...  Now and then, there's even an ex husband found standing in line at the stove!!! <grin>

Hugs! Peej

mdmhvonpa said...

East Coast UTZ rulez!
West coast aint got no balls!

I've been known to eat a whole barrel on occasion.
We buy 2, one for eats, one for stringing around the tree.  
Makes for good snaking christmass morning.

Did you know planters used 'Planter Warts' to make their cheese balls?  Their rational was that it was a good source of toe cheese.

sonyasuzanne said...

Can I just say that this post has totally cracked me up???????  I'm almost peeing my pants, which is not a good thing!

You really need to print this puppy off on beautiful colored paper and insert it with each bag you give away.  

Ummm......does it taste THAT good?  Maybe we MS blogsters should do a gift exchange...but the others might want some of that stuff you make, so that probably wouldn't work cuz I know that it makes me very curious myself!

Mondovapova would want it all anyway...he's a MAN and thats just what they do.  HAR  

Love and hugs,


baitulos said...

BILLIBOTTON: I'm blushing!  No wait!!!  It's just a hot flash...never mind.  LOL

BTW...Lint discovered, exploration completed.


baitulos said...

PPEJ:  And how many ex-husbands are you allowed to bag during this season in B-town???  I heard there's less of a limit on the East Coast, but that may just be gossip...LOL  And sorry I keep missing your chat!!!

Trade you some Chowdah for Snack mix crap...


baitulos said...

MDMHVONPA:  Dear man...we ALL know there are no REAL balls on the East Coast...just imitation!  LOL

And your traditional decorative stringing makes it sound like "Cheeses is the reason for the season" at your house...LMAO


baitulos said...

SUZY:  First off...NO SURPRISE gives MS a bad name. LOL
          Second...ah, "we" already did a gift exchange, remember???  (Still awaiting my Oprah/Chicago new car, though).
 coworkers wouldn't take the time to READ the pretty, little paper, but nice idea! LOL


pjorpeej said...

Linda, thankfully only one ex  - my frayed nerves couldn't take another.

I'm starting to feel like you're avoiding me.  (you know I'm j/k) Teach the cat how to type! She always has more energy than you.  lol!


hagartyjj said...

A blogger gift exchange sounds interesting!  Hmm...I think Suzy is on to something about Mdmhvonpa....he'd eat it all (did you notice he also orders two jars of balls as well).  LOL  

I can relate.  My family has always made a snack mix around Christmas.  I have never had it with cheese balls however, sounds like something worth trying.  :)

baitulos said...

PEEJ:  I think the cat ALREADY sends secret encripted emails and IM's while I sleep...she IS the Princess of Darkness!

Only one ex?  But they're not in Texas...not if they can lurk over your stove during the holidays! LOL


baitulos said...

JAIME:  A blogger gift exchange?  Hmmm...sounds interesting, except I'm afraid of what MDMHVONPA might send...he's always bragging about the mountains of excrement in his yard!  LOL


pjorpeej said...

The only ex's in Texas are the XXX type.  Though I do prefer Coronas.  ;)

Glad to see someone is using the keyboard.  Now teach her to recognize the "cheep" from my Bluebird.  lol!

baitulos said...

PEEJ:  Oh, the cat knows CHEAP all right...wait, you said CHEEP.  Ah, that she may NOT be familiar with! LOL