January 20, 2018

Scene Suggestion for Yet Another Hallmark Christmas Movie

Yes, Hallmark Christmas movies are predictable and sentimental—but aren’t many aspects of the holidays? After what might’ve been a few too many nights on the Hallmark Channel last season, I wrote this poem inspired by the real-life man in my kitchen every morning. And then I helped him make sausage balls with our time-tested recipe below.

Scene Suggestion for Yet Another Hallmark Christmas Movie

The camera pans from
soft duvet to feather pillow
to the ironically fresh face
of our sleeping but harried

thirty-something mom who,
kids away at grandma’s,
dreams a fitful rehearsal of
all she has to do for Christmas—

shopping, wrapping, cleaning,
cooking, and oh, she hasn’t even
started the Christmas letter—plus
there’s that big nebulous project

at work, and some other complication—
let’s say an ongoing disagreement
with a grumpy but redeemable
neighbor over his horse of a dog.

Our heroine wakes in a panic
and scrambles downstairs to find
a man in her kitchen, a stranger,
and for a hot flash of a minute

she’s scared, then mad,
but then she sees
his sleeves rolled up,
his apron strings dangling,

a faint layer of flour
dusting the cabinets
like snow. Humming,
the oven’s warm, and if this were

completely formulaic,
here’s where the scent of
cinnamon and sugar would waft
to her cute pink nose. But no,

she smells meat—pork
sausage to be precise—
and the melting delight
of cheese, and oh

look at his strong hands
firmly kneading that dough,
and oh he’s a factory
already on the second batch

and of course she says
let me help because
how easily she forgets,

but he says, I’ve got this
honey. Sit down and
have some coffee
and a hot sausage ball

and finally she looks at his
face and her heart melts
like all that gooey cheese
because darling it’s you.

by Kory Wells, first published by 2 Elizabeths

It’s hard not to expect our holiday scenes to not look like a Hallmark movie – or, even better, one long Hallmark commercial. Read my friend Michelle Palmer’s honest look at holiday dreams vs. reality on her blog Turn of the Page.

For more winter-themed reading, you might enjoy my poem “Getaway,” which I’m delighted to report is December’s most popular poem over at Typishly, and two poems over at The Wild Word: “There’s a God of False Starts and Tragic Mistakes” and “In the Deep of Winter’s Forest.”

For sausage ball baking, I highly recommend the following recipe. And your favorite person with you in the kitchen.

Cheesy Sausage Balls


  • 2 1/2 c. baking mix (like Bisquick)
  • 1 lb. sausage (mild or hot)
  • 4 c. shredded cheese (I like sharp cheddar best, but anything is fine)
  • a dash of Tabasco or chili powder as desired

Preheat oven to 350 (325 for dark pan), roll up your sleeves, and wash your hands – you’re gonna be getting them ALL in that sausage and cheese.

Let sausage and shredded cheese come to room temperature. In a large bowl, knead together the sausage and cheese, then keep kneading as you gradually add in the baking mix and hot sauce or chili powder. If using your hands for this is just too gross, you can use a mixer or food processor, but we’ve always thought the hand-kneaded balls turn out better. If the mixture seems too dry or thick, add a bit of milk a tablespoon at a time, or do a little less baking mix (my original recipe calls for 3 c., but we never put in quite that much).

After everything’s all mixed together good, form the mixture into small balls and place on a cookie sheet. I use parchment paper on the cookie sheets for easy clean-up.

Bake at 325 for about 15 minutes or so, until the sausage balls are nice and brown. Makes about 6 dozen balls.

We store these in the fridge and heat up a batch as many mornings as they last. We like them best reheated in toaster oven, but the microwave’s not bad, either. If you do plan to reheat, you may not want to brown them quite as much on the initial baking.



  1. Yum! Save some for me! And Mike, nothing says lovin’ like a man with an oven…

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