Last Saturday my family and I gave a gala party to celebrate the life of my mother Jan (a.k.a. Taffy), who died in December. We delighted in good food, good drink, and good company.
Being basically lazy, I asked guests to bring food, which they did in abundance. Pam brought tea sandwiches, Debbie brought potato salad, Trina brought the biggest green salad I have ever seen, Ruth brought shrimp, Peter brought MORE shrimp in a salad with artichokes and cilantro pesto, Mary Stuart brought quinoa, Leslie brought delicate cookies, Mardi and David brought watermelon, and so on.
SOMEBODY brought champagne. (I have no idea who, but it was very nice indeed.)
My family supplied tubs of Bart’s ice cream with homemade sauces and tested a recipe from our friend Lark Fleury for pimiento cheese.
Lark tells me that after fried chicken this cheese is the most popular funeral-related food among her neighbors in coastal Alabama. (I wasn’t about to mess with fried chicken in hot weather!)
Her recipe is quite different from my usual one; the mustard, onion, and relish add complexity to the spread. I gave most of the cheese to our friend Pam to put in some of her tea sandwiches, but my family also tried a bit on crackers. I know my mother would have approved.
If you’d like to read more about the party, visit my non-food blog for a full report.
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (it won’t surprise regular readers to learn that I grated it rather coarsely, I’m sure)
1/4 cup of grated onion
1 4-ounce jar diced pimentos drained (I may have used a little extra pimiento)
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup mayonnaise (more or less)
a dash of pepper
Combine all the ingredients, beginning with just a dab of mayonnaise and adding more until the cheese is spreadable.
Spread on bread/crackers or make small sandwiches. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Makes about 1 quart.