Today is a pimento cheese kind of day. Or, to be more specific, a grilled pimento cheese sandwich kind of day. It’s cold, blustery, wet, dark, and all in all the kind of day you’d like to spend indoors with something fun to read and something comforting to eat. For me, that sort of day brings unbidden thoughts of the grilled pimento cheese sandwiches I ate growing up in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Pimento cheese was a fixture in my house. You could buy it in tubs at any supermarket or grocery store in town. It showed up at receptions and parties troweled into celery sticks now and then, but mostly we ate it in sandwiches. You could eat it between two pieces of sandwich bread, ungrilled and untoasted, but I’ve always felt that it was much better grilled.
Unfortunately, pimento cheese is a Southern thing. I don’t know exactly where the line is, but it’s ubiquitous in the South and completely absent from northern Vermont. You simply can’t buy it here.
I’ve never made it from scratch, but there’s a recipe I’ve been meaning to try, a recipe from (of all places) NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6877304 I’ve shared that link before and people who do make it themselves have generally said “yeah, that’s right on target.”
I don’t own a big food processor, which the recipe calls for, not because I don’t think I’d have a use for one, but because my kitchen counter space is very limited and the last thing I need is another gadget that I have to store in the basement and carry up and down the stairs every time I want to use it. I’ve gotten by with a simple little food mill when I need to chop the wazoo out of something. But the thought of making a big batch of pimento cheese — especially on a day like this — makes me reconsider.