Let's Celebrate Cheese Balls

By Speirs, Doug | Winnipeg Free Press, April 17, 2013 | Go to article overview

Let's Celebrate Cheese Balls


Speirs, Doug, Winnipeg Free Press


But bad encounter will dampen my marking of the mysterious holiday

What with the horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon, the fact spring has been replaced this year with two winters, and the looming threat of more flooding, I suspect we could all do with a little cheering up.

Well, thankfully, today just happens to be April 17, a day on which there are more than the usual number of things to make us stand up and cheer.

You probably think I'm kidding, but I wouldn't joke about vital historical issues, such as the fact today is the date on which the Ford Mustang was introduced to the North American market.

My son, a car guy, never fails to remind me that without the Ford Mustang, the world would have been deprived of the greatest-ever movie car chase scene, by which he means the one in Bullitt in which the legendary Steve McQueen rockets around the streets of San Francisco for 10 minutes and 53 seconds.

For those of you unmoved by classic car chases, this is also the date on which Geoffrey Chaucer told The Canterbury Tales for the first time in the court of Richard II, the date on which Jerrie Mock became the first woman to circumnavigate the world by air and -- if you happen to be a geek, prepare for a thrill -- the day George Lucas began writing his treatment for Star Wars.

These are all good reasons to be happy today, but, sadly, they are not great reasons. Fortunately, I have tracked down what I believe are two outstanding reasons to bake a celebratory cake.

For starters, April 17 just happens to be the birthday of the one and only Daffy Duck, the arch-rival of Bugs Bunny and a character who, in my mind, is the greatest animated waterfowl of all time. It was on this day in 1937 that Daffy debuted on the big screen, a bit part in Porky's Duck Hunt.

I am not looking for an argument, but I feel strongly that, for sheer entertainment value, Daffy beats the pants off of Donald Duck, even though Donald doesn't even wear pants, which is a bit confusing, considering he never appears in public without his dorky little sailor jacket and hat.

Daffy's big day aside, the real reason we need to be over the moon today is because -- you might want to sit down before reading this next bit -- it's National Cheese Ball Day!

For you young people, cheese balls are both a delicious bite-sized snack and a traditional holiday food formed by taking great gobs of cheese and other ingredients and moulding them into a giant ball of cheese-y goodness. …

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