The odd and slightly unsettling convergance of my late Grandmother, pimento cheese, and my secret, imaginary love life.

Dear friends,


The strangest thing happened Saturday morning and it all started with pimento cheese for breakfast.

Why I was I eating such an odd thing for breakfast?

Because Trisha Yearwood was too and she was in my living room. Granted, she was on television. And she was making lunch, not breakfast. But I was watching her show in the morning and I suddenly got a hankering for the wonderfully creamy, cheesy spread that I first ate in my Grandmother’s kitchen as a young child.

By the way, I love Trisha. I’m not a fan of her music (or her genre), but she lives not far from my hometown and she seems like a cool gal and I enjoy her show. Most of the time I think her recipes aren’t that great (a few too many shortcuts and prepared ingredients for my taste) but I sure do relate to her love of food, family and southern traditions.

Anyway, Trisha says there’s only three ingredients in pimento cheese — shredded cheese, pimentos, and mayo. I beg to differ.

I started by grating an entire (1-lb) block of cheddar cheese. (Trisha recommends sharp cheddar and I do, too, but I only had mild on hand.) To that, I added:

  • A jar (4-oz) of diced pimentos
  • A sprinkling of salt (1/4 to 1/2 tsp?)
  • A sprinkling of sugar (1/2 tsp?)
  • Two pinches of paprika (where pinch literally equals the amount I can pinch between my thumb and forefinger)
  • One pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Mayo to taste, which for me was probably close to a cup

I stirred it all up real good, then spread it thick on soft Italian bread. It was the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time and I’ve got enough leftover for lunch tomorrow. Plus, I was pretty darn excited that at the exact moment I was inspired to make pimento cheese, I just happened to have all the ingredients to do so. Let this be a lesson to you to never underestimate the blessings that can come your way as a result of a well-stocked pantry.

Anyway . . . I posted a photo of my breakfast on Facebook because, you know, that’s what I live for other than this blog, and next thing you know my friend Elizabeth pointed out that she likes Trisha, too, but loves Jamie Deen even more.

And suddenly my sweet and nostalgic memories of my Grandmother’s loving care collided with my secret desire to be swept off my feet by Jamie Deen. I responded to Elizabeth saying that I’d like Jamie to cook for me in his gorgeous kitchen while I sip wine, appear irresistibly beautiful and charming, and otherwise help him recover from the tragic and untimely death of his wife.

And that could happen.

Just like Bill Clinton could fall in love with me and John Cusack could run away with me as they do in my slumber.

Actually, I dreamed about Bill a long time ago. He’s getting a little old for my taste at this point. (I’m ageless you know.) And John — well, once I started following him on Twitter, he’s not so sexy anymore. I always joke I’m about as far left as Noam Chomsky, but John’s pretty out there at this point even for me. And, you know, he’s getting old too.

But Jamie — he’s just right. And I’m certain Mr. Mom wouldn’t mind because in my secret, imaginary love life, there are never complications or broken hearts.

Just gorgeous men, pimento cheese, and sweet dreams.

With gratitude {for tasty sandwiches and Saturday morning diversions},

Joan, who encourages you to never fall for the pre-made pimento cheese available in your grocery store because it’s too easy to make the really good stuff at home



  1. Looks yummy! I wish I knew how to follow John Cusack on twitter….sigh….

  2. texasdeb says:

    Pimento Cheese – breakfast of champions! A friend of mine originally from N. Carolina swears by her family’s recipe which includes the addition of some grated onion, and a different friend who hails from New Mexico won’t eat hers without stirring in chopped green chilies.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never met a pimento cheese recipe I didn’t like. I also add in a little cayenne pepper to my pimento cheese mix but I feel the extra sharp cheddar brings enough saltiness so I don’t add any salt. I don’t put any sugar in either but what I do add, is some grated swiss cheese, for a bit of sweet mellowing. Plus the color variation is visually pleasing. I finish up mine with a very generous helping of freshly ground black pepper and boy oh boy. I’m heading to the kitchen to make some right now (and I’ll second that vote of gratitude for a well stocked pantry!).

  3. Deb — grated swiss (or Provolone even) is a terrific idea! You can bet I’ll try that next time. And us Southerners add a little sugar to virtually everything. Can’t help it.

  4. Reblogged this on Alan Tek Abraham Blog.

  5. Despite having heard of pimento cheese before, I never actually knew what it was. So thanks for the lesson.

    Though I’m a Southerner once removed, my mom is from New Orleans, which really isn’t like anywhere else in the south, food-wise. So a lot of typical southern food–biscuits and gravy, for instance–was not a part of my food childhood. We were more likely to have red beans and rice. But I can pretty much guarantee I would love this mixture of cheese and mayonnaise. I’ve never had pimentos before, but really, it seems to be all about the cheese and mayonnaise, and I can totally get behind that.

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