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Country Breakfast Growing Up

Monday, February 25, 2013

A few people have asked me what pimento cheese is. It is basically shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (from a block, don't use already shredded cheese) mixed with a certain ratio of pimentos (red peppers that are in brine), and unsweetened mayonnaise. It is something I grew up with as I am from the south and it is something that I love and could eat happily every day.

It is wonderful melted on bread (cooked the same way you would a grilled cheese sandwich) and is something that most southerners know well. It's served at diners in the south and even fancy restaurants in towns like Charleston, SC.

Just like grits (ground corn), it's not a fancy food, but it can be treated as such since you will also see fancy grits and shrimp on the menu at many upper scale southern restaurants as well as simple mom and pop diners.

While pimento cheese can be slightly fattening (there is mayo and cheese after all) if used in moderation it can be a great treat as the extra sharp cheddar has a lot of flavor so you don't have to use as much of it as you would a milder cheese.

If you ever make pimento cheese, make sure that if you use jarred red peppers (instead of pimentos that are usually already torn into smaller pieces) that you cut them up. It should be a pretty combination of the orange cheese and small pieces of the red pepper mixed in. You don't want it soupy, but you don't want it dry as dirt either, LOL.

Back to grits, I have to admit to being a snob with those as I grew up with freshly ground grits from a grist mill near me. They ground up the corn fresh and sold the bags of grits from the mill. Instant grits are NOT the same thing as freshly ground up grits. The freshly ground up grits take longer to cook and are wonderful poured over eggs (or egg whites as I prefer) or just eaten plain with a little salt and a tiny bit of butter.

My dad was famous for making his grits soupy and I never was a fan of those. Again, I am a snob (or maybe I'm just picky??LOL) and I prefer my grits to not be so thick that you could throw them, but they shouldn't be something that you can drink either. emoticon

Many a cat ate grits as it's breakfast when I was growing up as there was always too much made (they swell like crazy so you can easily overmake them) and to see a cat try to shake hot grits off it's paws is something I grew accustomed to as they couldn't wait for them to cool down, LOL.

Most southerners serve their grits with sausage, ham, or bacon, but I grew up with a weird religion where we couldn't eat pork and seafood (trust me, I stood out like a sore thumb where I grew up as pork is king), so my daddy made his own version of sausage with hamburger and a sausage seasoning mix from Morton's.

We also ate sweet potatoes that had been baked previously and then he put them in the frying pan with some butter, flattened them out, and we had what I suppose is sweet potato patties. Did I mention he also served stewed tomatoes with this breakfast? I did not ever eat that as the though of hot tomatoes on top of grits didn't appeal to me.

My father was also a very big hunter and I can't tell you how many times I would open the fridge and see a dead duck carcass (complete with head and feathers) or quail in there. We ended up having those fried for breakfast many more times than I can count. Weirded out yet? LOL

So now I have my background on a southern country breakfast at my house growing up and what do I eat the majority of the time? Just pimento cheese or peanut butter (natural) on whole wheat bagels. I feel like I'm boring as can be compared to the breakfasts I grew up with, LOL.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm not a big fan of oatmeal either although my daughter and husband like it. I love me some grits, LOL.
    1907 days ago
    Just had a bowl of grits for lunch. I make mine with a 1.5 tablespoons of sharp cheddar cheese shreds and about 1 oz. of honey ham. Eat it with a bagel on the side. Do love them over eggs. I admit I don't buy instant grits, but I don't buy the real long cooking grits either. I did buy the long cooking grits once, but never tried them, probably still have them. My family doesn't like grits, or I would probably try them. My hubby eats oatmeal which I don't like.
    1907 days ago
    MATALYNN - That's funny that you thought it was tomato mixed in. That sounds yummy what you had at Bruger's.

    You should try pimento cheese sometime, it is seriously yummy if made correctly and if made with real extra sharp cheddar cheese and NOT Velvetta. Also if it's made with Duke's mayo (which has no sugar) it is even more divine!
    1909 days ago
    I have never had pimento cheese or not the kind you are talking about but when i was younger I worked at a mall where there was a Brugers bagel place and I got a pumpernickel bagel with olive and pimento cream cheese which I loved.

    I always thought pimento was tomato not
    1909 days ago
    SLACHETKA103145 - Very true about it being the southern caviar! LOL You're so welcome. I'd love to know how you make your pimento cheese as everyone's is always a little different.
    1909 days ago
    Sounds good!

    1909 days ago
    I want to be a southerner....
    I'm from Wisconsin and have lived in the Chicago area now for 16 years. What I miss from Wisconsin is Cheese Curds. (you can get them here, but they really aren't good.) When I first moved here you had a hard time finding decent brats and worse, when someone made them, they didn't cook them right. (Boil in Beer and onions then grill till dark.) Take notes, Slachetka!

    What I love about Chicago is the amazing variety. I've eaten Chicken Feet in Chinatown and Eel sushi at our local Japanese restaurant. Last week, we ate at an Irish pub and I had a "boxty." These are things I wouldn't have been able to find in Wisconsin. emoticon

    1910 days ago
  • SLACHETKA103145
    We have a saying from home! Pimento Cheese is Southern Caviar! I now live in WI where they laugh at me about it but "pile" when I make it!!!!!

    Thanks for my southern roots memories this AM!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1910 days ago
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