Pimento cheese

When you want a simple but filling lunch, a bowl of hot soup and a tasty sandwich seem perfect.

Recently, returning home after several weeks away, I felt a little like Old Mother Hubbard. I had not yet had a chance to replenish my kitchen pantry, but I wanted some soup.

Learning to utilize whatever you find in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer is important. You probably won’t believe what I ended up putting in my pot of soup — and it turned out to be one of the best vegetable beef soups I have tasted in a long time.

I found a large can of whole tomatoes, a large can of mixed vegetables, a can of Rotel tomatoes and a can of cream of celery soup. (I usually prefer cream of mushroom soup, but didn't find any in the pantry, so I had to use what was available.)

After combining these with two cups of water, I remembered how much I like taco soup, and decided to see if I had any taco seasoning mix and ranch dressing mix. I found a package of ranch dressing, but only about a half-package of taco seasoning.

To compensate for the lack of enough taco seasoning, I decided to add a teaspoon of cumin.

I also added an envelope of onion soup mix.

It still needed something. "Beef," I thought. Just as I was about to say, "I don’t have any," a great idea came to mind. I had two individual servings of meatloaf in the freezer that my granddaughter Meagan had made.

I added this to the soup pot, and then tasted what proved to be a great new vegetable beef soup.

My niece, who lives in Arkansas, and I have an e-mail recipe swap. She is always sending me recipes that she likes, and I do the same for her.

Several years ago, she sent me a wonderful pimiento-and-cheese recipe. She told me that she got it from two elderly nuns who operated a gift shop. She had become friends with them, and their main topic of conversation was food.

When she sent me the recipe, there wasn’t even a name for it. I decided that the perfect name for this delicious spread should be "Friendship Pimiento and Cheese."

My pimiento-and-cheese spread is very simple but tasty. It was a favorite with my longtime friend and assistant, Mauna.

I can still remember the smile that came to her face when I told her that I was going to make us a pimiento-and-cheese sandwich.

To make the sandwich even better, grill it!

FRIENDSHIP PIMIENTO AND CHEESE

  • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated onion
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded mild Cheddar cheese

Combine first 5 ingredients and mix well. Stir in cheese. Store in refrigerator up to a week. Makes 4 cups.

SIMPLE PIMIENTO AND CHEESE SPREAD

  • 8 ounces American cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons diced pimiento
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise

Combine cheese and pimiento. Mix well and stir in mayonnaise.

Contact Prudence Hilburn at prudencehilburn@aol.com.

 

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