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Mammoth Cheese Ball

Today is a day of great historical significance. I know what you’re all thinking: footprints in moon dust. Well, July 20th got famous long before 1969. Let’s take a look at a certain wacky business that took place in Massachusetts in 1801.

In what some might describe as an act of collective insanity, citizens of the town of Cheshire put together a cheese ball and shipped it as a gift to Thomas Jefferson, who had just defeated John Adams in a run for president. I know what you’re thinking: big deal, right? You just sent your cousin Larry a cheese ball last week. Well, what gives this story edge is that the Cheshire cheese ball weighed 1235 pounds.

Historians have recorded that when the “mammoth cheese ball” arrived at Jefferson’s doorstep, it “caused consternation.” Ya think? Okay, so maybe some of the concern was about the tension between Jefferson’s supporters and the friends of Adams; for all anyone knew the gift was sort of a Trojan Cheese Ball, loaded with hostile Adams-huggers, who would wait till nightfall and then burst forth and TP the White House.

But if I were the president, I’d have other worries. I mean, what do you do with a cheese ball the size of a Buick? Even if Jefferson had a fridge, it would most likely not be up to the task of preserving the ball. So then what happens? Either you invite the whole county over for a cheese party (BYO crackers), or the ball is left on the front lawn to deteriorate, stinking up the neighborhood and alienating visiting dignitaries.

Since I have a birthday coming up in the fall, I’d like to say publicly that, if anyone is thinking of gifting me with a 1235 pound cheese ball, please re-think. I’d much rather have something more manageable, like some Manolos or a cute spatula.

If you are hell-bent on sending me a cheese ball, please follow this recipe
which is for a ball of more reasonable proportions.


4 Responses
  1. LuAnn Morgan says:

    Too funny! And how did they know he liked cheeseballs. What kind of crackers do you think he had back them to put all that cheese on? Were Ritz crackers invented yet because even if that darn cheeseball tasted yucky … everything tastes great when it sits on a Ritz!

  2. Ellen says:

    For more about the giant cheese ball, see .

  3. Lloyd says:

    That is priceless, I will send you a cute spatula for your birthday! Happy weekend.

  4. Joe says:

    Happy Birthday Jessica. That was a very unusual gift. I never knew that. Seems I need to do more reading; Read between the lines. So much is missed.

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