There are some foods that are just regional. When I was growing up in Indiana, we would buy a spread that we called “ham salad.” It wasn’t really ham. It was bologna. My mom and I would grind up round bologna, hard boiled eggs, and mix them with sweet pickle relish and mayonnaise. My step-mother would say, “Here, eat some of this ‘good protein’.” It was good, too.
Here in North Carolina, we just love us some ‘menner cheese. You can buy it in pretty much every grocery store here, including huge tubs at Costco, though not Trader Joe’s. It comes with jalapeños or without. I am the without-kinda-girl. Every now and then, I get a craving for that stuff, so I decided I would try to make it. I found some recipes on-line and mixed up a big batch. I mean a big batch. It is pretty darn tasty, if I do say so myself.
This is the combo-recipe I used:
2 c extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (Real southerners shred the cheeses themselves. I don’t.)
2 c mild cheddar cheese, shredded
2 c fancy cheddar cheese, shredded
1 block cream cheese
1 jar pimentos
Salt, pepper, garlic salt, a titch of cayenne pepper to taste
Mayo, however much you need for your desired creaminess
Some recipes call for grated onion, and I meant to add it, but I forgot.
Use a big bowl. It makes enough for a teachers’ lounge-sized treat. Let the flavors meld. Serve on crackers, on celery sticks, or eat it with a spoon. I am not sure if it freezes well. I guess I will find out. A little goes a long way. My favorite way to eat it is in a grilled pimento cheese sandwich…for breakfast, so I have all day to use up the calories.
When I lived in Arizona, I could find both the ham salad and the pimento cheese in tubs in the grocery. Here, there is no ham salad to be found, but I get that fix while I’m in Wisconsin. I haven’t intended this to be a food blog, but some days it just turns out that way.
Whatever your regional craving is, go satisfy it. It’s comfort food weather, and who doesn’t need a little comfort?