We are, in fact, having a ball at Eatocracy today. A dear friend of the blog just confirmed that he's now free of testicular cancer, having caught it via a self-exam early enough to have surgery that kept it from advancing past Stage 1.
So why are we mentioning this on a food site? Because we're talking about it wherever we can in the hopes that the men we love will get over whatever hang-ups they have and perform a simple self-check once a month.
In honor of his diagnosis, we're planning to throw a bit of a ball - a hootenanny where we're considering meatball sliders, smoky whiskey balls (recipe below), cheese balls and other, uh, spherical food - so we have an excuse to celebrate our friends who've beat and/or are fighting cancer and to share information on testing and prevention with the dudes we adore.
How can you help?
Secondly, learn a heck of a lot more about the treatment, care, and, most importantly, prevention and detection of testicular cancer at CNN Health and for goodness sake, spread the word.
And go nuts - you might even consider hosting a party of your own.
Here's our recipe for Smoky Whiskey Balls
1 cup pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. While the oven is heating, place the pecans in a bowl and pour enough bourbon on to cover them.
They should soak up a fair amount of liquid. Spread the pecans on a cookie sheet, and place in the oven until they start to smell toasty. Carefully remove them, and splash with a bit more bourbon. Once they're cool, crush them into small pieces.
While they're in the oven, crumb vanilla wafers in a food processor or by placing them in a sealed plastic bag and breaking down with a rolling pin. Approximately 8 ounces of cookies should make 2 cups.
Pour into a medium bowl and add the cooled pecans and combine them with the crumbs until they are thoroughly combined.
Stir in 1/4 cup of the cocoa and 1/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar until thoroughly incorporated, then the corn syrup and the 1/4 cup bourbon. Taste, and then add Scotch until there's a hint of smoky flavor throughout.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cups of cocoa and confectioners' sugar and place in a shallow dish. Roll the wet mixture into 3/4 inch balls and dredge in the sugar mixture to coat.
Store the balls in a sealed container for up to 5 days.