My Granny, Martha Massie, gifted her pimento cheese to everyone in town. Whether it be a Christmas gift with a loaf of her homemade sourdough bread, or a gift of sympathy, everyone who received it felt her love. She even gifted it for the arrival of a new baby, which I remember being such a comfort on the morning after a sleepless night. Pimento cheese toast for breakfast took away any weariness. One of the voids that I cannot seem to fill following her passing, is the smell of her home when I would walk through the door. She normally had baked a fresh loaf of bread, and it was usually cooling under a towel in the kitchen. The smell did more than trigger my saliva glands, like Pavlov’s Law, but it triggered my heart, causing it to flutter or even skip a beat the same way it did when I had young crushes. Her Pimento Cheese was simple, yet made with so much love. As I got older, I would miss it – feeling homesick at college for a Sunday visit on her back porch, complete with sun tea and pimento cheese. Now, I get that same feeling, but know I can’t go get my quick fix. Honoring the Steel Magnolias who came before me is something I hope to continually do on James Dean Lane, and today I honor my Granny by sharing her precious Pimento Cheese recipe. Her version was a smooth, spread-like pimento cheese. Not a chunky style where you see shreds or curds. What makes the taste unique was her homemade boiled dressing – the heart of the recipe – which can also be used in potato salads, chicken salads, etc. in place of traditional mayonnaise.
2 eggs (whole)
1 cup sugar
1 T dry mustard
1 heaping T flour
Mix all ingredients together and add:
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Don’t walk away, it scorches easily. Remove from heat when thickened. If making pimento cheese, use the dressing while it’s warm.
2 Blocks Grated Cheddar (do not use already grated cheese, it becomes grainy.)
½ Recipe Boiled Dressing
4 oz. jar Pimentos
Grate two blocks of sharp cheddar cheese in a food processor. Put in about ½ of the warm boiled dressing in the bottom of the processor before grating the cheese. Mix until smooth. Add pimentos. Blend Together.