Thinking this morning about Food. Especially food in books.
Specifically, my book: GLORY BE.
Since Glory's caretaker, Emma, is a fabulous cook and the two spend a lot of time talking over the kitchen table, food appears frequently in my book. Maybe not as often as it did pre-edits, but it's there. Red Velvet Cake, bacon frying, ditto chicken. So when I think Wine and Cheese for Glory Be's launch party, I'm thinking Wine and (Pimento!) Cheese.
Then I have to worry if I'm spelling it right. A few years ago, a good portion of one of my New Jersey critique group meetings focused on pimento v. pimiento. Two Southerners and one writing about college in the South fought it out. With no satisfactory conclusion.
Now I have it on Good Authority that either is correct.
I'm going with PIMENTO.
My favorite professional foodie told me so. Well, actually he gave me a GREAT book called The New Food Lover's Companion. And did you know that much of the pimento crop is used for Paprika? Or that Pimento is the name of the tree from which ALLSPICE comes.
Chris, my foodie kissing cousin, knew I'd love this book, and I do. His mother, my sister's mother-in-law (are you still with me? I just did that thing we Southerners do: mention three relatives in one sentence) was an all-time great cook. I have longed a jar of Mrs. Carlson's Jerusalem Artichokes for all the years since she stopped making them (picking them from her garden, scrubbing and pickling those little things).
Back to Pimento Cheese. I think I'll make it the way I've always done it. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal calls it Classic Pimento Cheese. They suggest crudite. Not sure about this. White bread was always on my menu. And I doubt I'll roast and seed my own peppers. They do still sell them in the little jars, you know.
(From the Wall Street Journal:)
For 25 years, chef Frank Stitt's Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Ala., has served a platter of pimento cheese and crudité to regulars who know to ask for it (it's not the menu).
The recipe: Shred 1 pound sharp yellow cheddar, then blend it with ¼ pound cream cheese, 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, 3 large red bell peppers (roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped), ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon sugar, a splash of hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Cholula), several splashes of Worcestershire and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional). Serve chilled.