Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Appetizers: Grape Balls of Ginger (and Almonds)

Serves 20

These tasty morsels will delight your guests.  No one anticipates the surprising grape and ginger flavors beneath the nutty brown exterior.

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
4 heaping tbsp crystallized ginger, finely chopped
30 to 40 seedless green grapes, rinsed and dried
2 cups slivered almonds, toasted

Blend cream cheese and ginger with an electric mixer. Use a manual food chopper to dice the almonds into peppercorn-size chunks (or smaller).  About 10 to 15 good whacks with the chopper should do it. (If you don't have a food chopper, you can use a sharp knife, but be prepared for some of the pieces to fly across the room.)  Put the chopped almonds in a small bowl.

Roll the grapes in the cream cheese to coat. Drop one grape at a time into the bowl of almonds and roll it around. Put grapes on a plate.  Use one hand just in the cream cheese and keep the other on dry.  Use the dry one to handle the uncoated grapes and to cover the coated grapes with almonds. 

Chill for 30 minutes or until the cream cheese is firm.