Dad Food :: Pimento Cheese
Churchy Food Blogger / Stay-At-Home Momtographer: ”Ack! Ah. Mah. Gah. I mean…gosh. Did he just take a picture of a cheese sandwich on a blue plastic Ziploc lid?”
Goddamn right I did. And to be specific, it’s a Pimento Cheese sandwich. I had long since forgotten about the Pimento Cheese of my youth until I saw The Gurgling Cod’s friendly reminder that November is Pimento Cheese Awareness Month. If you’re new to Pimento Cheese, it’s an all purpose slathering spread made of cheese, pimentos, butter and/or mayonnaise. The ingredients are mixed cold and stored in the fridge at the ready for a quick sandwich or spread. In my opinion, Pimento Cheese is one of those odd exceptions to the rule that the higher the quality of ingredients, the better the dish. In this case, a bag of shredded cheddar, a tiny jar of pimentos, and a dab of Hellman’s did the trick – all of these things generously tucked into the heel of Brownberry Oatnut bread. And, the mixture tastes better when you store it in a plastic Ziploc.
“Paleo” Dieting OWS’er: “But… But… What about the starches used to keep the shredded cheese separate in the bag? Or the flour used in the bread… was it milled by virginal Bon Iver fans?”
Okay, a quick word about the organic/local/humane food movement: This is a very good thing. I buy almost exclusively from local farmers when I can, but… some things are sacred and permissible when enjoyed in moderation. When we discuss comfort food and family history, we place a lot of emphasis on Mom Food. But, let us not forget the significance of Dad Food as well. Dad Food! When I was growing up, my dad made five things: chili, corned beef and cheese omelettes, lugaw, pot pies, and pimento cheese. On warm spring days, my mom would season the barbecue and my dad would grill it to be served with spring Maryland blue crabs, pickled mustard greens, and hot white rice. Our dinner table discussion usually began with a short argument between my parents. My mom would rip on my dad for burning the barbecue (I’ve since come to love the flavor of charred meat…with a little seasoned vinegar, please). These Dad Foods and the details and stories that accompany them are part of my personal history, and I’ll be damned if I try to write them out.
Recipe Plagiarizing Blogger / Self Declared Restaurant Critic: “I’d be curious to try a decon(structed) version of this. Like a no-bake brioche, some aerated Epoisses cheese smuggled in from France, powdered Esplette peppers, and an Aioli Provençal foam.”