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Fun Ants On A Log Recipe For National Ants On A Log Day

Sure, we love sophisticated foods. Bring on the molecular gastronomy or a plate of foie gras. But we also love the foods of our youth. This year, September 7th is National Ants On A Log Day (it’s held the second Tuesday of the month). So it’s nostalgia time.

We remember the day in our childhood when we were first allowed to place our own “ants” on the logs. Mom had already filled the logs; some with cream cheese, some with peanut butter. But we got to put on the raisins.

Back in those days, the “ants” were always raisins. Our creative mother supplied both purple and golden raisins (sultanas); and once, we remember chocolate-covered raisins left over from Halloween.

Since then, moms have gone further, replacing the raisins with dried cranberries, freeze-dried corn and peas, fresh blueberries, grape tomatoes, olive slices, pretzel sticks, and on and on (photo #2).

Moms had been stuffing celery sticks for some time. Stuffed celery sticks became popular at the turn of the 20th century, as an appetizer for adult gatherings [source].

We may never know who added the raisins and called the result “Ants On A Log,” but the term first appears in the 1950s. Whoever you are: Thanks for putting a fun name on this crunchy snack.

> Here’s more history of Ants On A Log.

For today’s celebration, here’s perhaps the most fun idea of all our recipes below: Goldfish® in a stream (photo #2).

This fun creation from Delicious Made Easy via Taste Of Home was made for kids; but grown-ups can enjoy them, too.

In fact, grown-ups can tweak them:

  • Switch the plain cream cheese for flavored cream cheese, goat cheese, pimento cheese, ricotta or other cheese spread.
  • If you use one of these cheeses, you can eliminate the ranch dressing mix.
  • Grown-ups can also substitute fennel for celery, or enjoy a mixture of both.
  • How about fennel with mascarpone and brandied cherries? Let your creative juices flow.

  • 4 stalks of celery, ends removed, chopped into 3″ long pieces
  • 4 ounces plain cream cheese (spreadable, not block shape), or substitute, at room temperature
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 2 cups Goldfish crackers, preferably multicolor
  • Garnish: dried parsley or dill

    1. COMBINE the cream cheese and ranch dressing mix. Spread the cream cheese mixture in the wells of the celery.

    2. TOP each piece of celery with 3-4 Goldfish crackers. Sprinkle dried parsley on top.


  • Gourmet Ants On A Log
  • Ladybugs On A Stick
  • Beyond Ants: Caterpillars & Snails

    [1] Goldfish on a log…or maybe, in a stream (photo © Delicious Made Easy via Taste Of Home).

    Ants On A Log
    [2] Adult versions: sliced grape tomatoes and olives—and how about a zigzag of pretzels (photo © Cava).

    Ants On A Raft
    [3] Ants on a raft: romaine leaves, cream cheese, fruits and olives (photo © Aldi).

    Ants On A Log
    [4] Snails and caterpillars. Here’s the recipe (photo © Women’s Day).

    Animal Crackers On A Log (anchored with peanut butter on a celery stick)
    [5] Animal crackers on a log! What’s next (photo © All Service).


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