Old Pals and Pimento Cheese

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I’m still trying to come down from a weekend of pure bliss with my childhood friend, Linda.  Linda and I literally grew up together since infancy.  We have kept in touch over sixty years and are still best of friends.  Even our mom’s were friends.  We have had times where we lost touch here and there, but with friends like we were, we always knew the other one was just a phone call away.

Linda has been a make-up artist for thirty-four years in the movie and television industry.  She has worked on some of the biggest blockbusters and most famous celebrities.  I told her she should write a book.  Right now, she is working on television shows in Chicago like “Chicago PD,” “Chicago Med,” and “Chicago Fire.”  But lucky for me, she had some time off and came to spend the weekend.  My husband Bill was in Upper Michigan so we had the house to ourselves.

We talked for hours and hours and hours every day.  That’s no exaggeration.  And it was wonderful.  We had much to catch up on, and that we did with lots of laughing and some tears here and there.  We spoke of our mothers, as Linda lost her mom a few years ago, and my mom passed away last month.  We looked at old childhood pictures, and even talked about the foods we used to eat together.  Although we didn’t have it this weekend, our favorite sandwich growing up was peanut butter and potato chips on white bread.  Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!  We also remembered that our favorite after school snack was cheese and crackers.  We didn’t have that either but decided to move it up a notch to pimento cheese and crackers!

With delight, we devoured the pimento cheese.  It’s made with both sharp yellow cheddar and white sharp cheddar, pimento, a little mayo and celery salt.  That’s it!  It will keep for about three days but obviously never made it that far.  We enjoyed easy dinners like oven roasted wild caught salmon, asparagus, and grape tomatoes, with olive oil, lemon, and fresh dill and served with a delicious sour cream dill sauce.  Another night we had homemade soup and garlic bread.  Easy stuff but so good.

There really is nothing like a lifelong friend with such a strong emotional attachment, watching each other grow up and having the same experiences.  We both have many friends but what Linda and I have in our friendship is like no other.  When someone asks in conversation if I have any siblings, I will reply that I have three brothers, but no sisters, that is not actually true.  I have Linda.

Pimento Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups coarsely grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup drained chopped pimentos
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • For serving: crackers, celery sticks, carrots, bell pepper strips, or baguette slices
Instructions
  1. Place first five ingredients in a food processor with metal blade. Pulse until just mixed and mixture is still chunky. Do not make it smooth. Place in a serving bowl. Cover and chill mixture at least an hour or so to let flavors blend. It will keep covered in the refrigerator for a few days, if it lasts that long! Serve with suggested serving pieces. (My favorite is crackers and celery sticks). Also note: My favorite cheeses to use is Kraft Cracker Barrel blocks.

 

Here’s a bonus recipe for the dill sauce we made for the salmon.

 

Sour Cream Dill Sauce

2-1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix well.  Place in a serving bowl, cover, and chill before serving.  Serve with seafood, or it can be a dip for vegetables, or used as the base for tuna or chicken salad, potato salad, or for deviled eggs.  Makes about 4 cups.

This can easily be halved which I did.  The full recipe is great for a big party.

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8 Responses to Old Pals and Pimento Cheese

  1. Lisa keys October 22, 2018 at 4:24 am #

    Nothing like a good friend

  2. Dawn E. Lowenstein October 22, 2018 at 5:51 am #

    Thank you for sharing these recipes! They both sound delicious!

  3. Kim Marsden October 22, 2018 at 12:28 pm #

    Nothing better for the soul than ‘girl time’ with a life-long, trusted friend sharing memories together with tasty meals and treats. So glad you had that special weekend just for the two of you.

    • Debbie October 23, 2018 at 11:29 am #

      It was the best time ever!

  4. Linda Boykin-Williams October 23, 2018 at 11:06 pm #

    I don’t have a blog where i can write of my special friendship with Debbie, but I can reply to her post about our weekend. I am Linda and I am the fortunate one to have the strong bond with her that has stayed strong for over 60 years. My childhood was enriched with my friendship with Debbie. Her family treated me as a member and it seems like I went everywhere with them. I still remember our times of playing with Barbie dolls, telling each other our wishes, devouring the delicious creations that came from her mother’s kitchen, and dreaming of how our lives would turn out.
    Our weekend together was certainly not one filled with activity. We sat at her kitchen table for two days straight and talked. I will admit that on Sunday we never got out of our sleepwear. It was a magical time of sharing our memories, expressing our grieving for the losses we have experienced, counting the blessings in our lives, and sharing delicious foods prepared in Debbie’s kitchen. She made the most delicious delights and made it look so easy. She has a grace in the kitchen and an ease that I admire. It is evident that she has a natural talent for creating and understanding culinary treasures. The salmon dinner was delightful and i devoured the pimento cheese and crackers. The chicken soup was the perfect comfort food before I had to leave.
    Debbie took me to her culinary cellar that is in the process of being rebuilt after the flood. It is a task that I would be overwhelmed with but for Debbie it is a task of love. She has been so touched by all of the recipes cards, cookbooks, and culinary magazines she has received by people who wish to help her rebuild her lost treasures.
    In our talks she mentioned how she has had to learn to let go of some hurts from the past and to forgive in order to move on. We both have learned that lesson. She also mentioned that with the outpouring of kindness of people willing to share and help her rebuild, she has learned to let go of what she lost. She will always have the memories of those special treasures just like she and I have the memories of our special moments together.
    Our weekend reminded of us the special bond we share and that nothing can take that away from us. We have been blessed with something special and we both agreed people are put in our lives for a reason.
    I have always thought of Debbie as my sister and her lovely mother, Pat as my second mother. It’s not easy being away from home and family in order to work but having Debbie close by makes it easier. I plan to have more visits and hopefully have our favorite peanut butter and potato chip sandwich with a side of pumpkin seeds.

    • Debbie October 24, 2018 at 11:49 am #

      Way to make me cry, Linda! Your words are beyond anything. Thank you for this. I also think you need to write a blog yourself! You definitely have a way with words and the heart for it. Love you for always. See you soon.

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