July 01, 2010


So yesterday my mother and I went to visit Danda, the name we use for her father.

My mother's side of the family is a food family. That is, most of my memories of visits to Honey and Danda's house are marked by what I ate and who was cooking. Or trips to Graeters. Or trips to Dairy Queen (God, when you're 8, there is NOTHING better than a hot dog and a Blizzard. Still isn't, actually). There probably is not a cook better than my Honey was, but since she's gone, Danda has begun to make my most favorite thing in the world: pimiento cheese.

He measures the ingredients, but knows which spoon he uses and not how big said spoons are. I had to look at the spoons he used and write everything down. And now, world, here is the single greatest thing you will ever eat:

1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
1 pound EXTRA SHARP CHEDDAR cheese
7oz. jar of pimientos
3 squirts of lemon juice (this is the great family secret, see, because not a lot of people do this)
Miracle Whip to taste (people like theirs in varying textures. As my Danda says, though, "You can add more, but it's a hell of task trying to get it out." So underestimate.)

Put the cheese alone in your CuisinArt (mom just uses a cheese greater, but the texture is weird and undesirable) and spin until it begins to "rope up." That is Honey's term. Danda, who was teaching me this, has no idea what she meant but kept repeating it. So he just pulses it until it starts to stick together but is still in small chunks. Again, you don't want to overdo it because the cheese will turn into a cream.
Add everything else. Be sure to bitch about the pimiento jar. I've seen that man make this so many times, and it's always something: the lip of the jar makes it hard to get the pimientos out. Kroger's stopped selling the right brand or the right size. They don't look like the right color. I've begun to feel like this is the most important part.
Put in Miracle Whip in globs and mix, adding a little at a time until it's the right consistency.
Make an MCS.

I could have titled this entry any number of things, but MCS is the family abbreviation for Pimiento Cheese Sandwich. Honey ordered one once, long ago, and the waitress called back to the kitchen for "an MCS." The cook asked what in the hell she was talking about, and the waitress looks at him like he's the biggest moron alive: "MCS. Menner. Cheese. Sandwich."


Unapologetically Mundane said...

Very cute post.

Growing up, my mom and dad both loved pimento cheese, but I never ate it. I can't remember now if that was because I tried it and didn't like it or if I just didn't think I'd like it.

I'm kind of interested in trying it now that you've told me what the ingredients are, but of course I don't cook and will never make it.

Chris said...

Is this your passive-aggressive way of telling me I don't write enough?

Ok, fine. Love you.