The Big Cheese
If I was stranded on a deserted island & could only take three of my favorite foods with me, the first food would be cheese (along with bread & an infinite number of berries). I haven’t tried them all but can almost guarantee there isn’t a cheese on this earth I wouldn’t like.
You buy cheese by the block or by the bag if you want shredded, but I had never thought about shredding cheese myself. It’s kind of like how you can buy produce whole or already prepped. One is definitely more convenient, but the other is cheaper & more fresh. Why I had never thought of cheese this way, I’ll never know. Granted, it can be a lot of work & a mess to shred your own cheese, but the taste is unparalleled. These days, I like to get the big block of Kerrygold cheese at Costco. I cut half the block into sticks for snacking & shred the other half. A little goes in the fridge & the rest in the freezer for later. I actually owned a food processor for probably two years before I knew there was ever a shredding attachment. I watched a YouTube video on how to shred cheese, you guys, because new things scare me sometimes. Becoming a parent, starting a new job, moving across the country—those are new things that are allowed to be scary—using an electric shredder? Not so much.
A friend & I were just talking this morning about how to do present-buying. Do you buy presents for EVERYONE? Just immediate family? Do you do the Secret Santa thing or a fun White Elephant exchange? How do you buy something for a parent who does so much when your budget is crap? ( #Adultingishard ) Blake & I hit up some nifty online sales last weekend that wrapped quite a bit of our shopping, but there are still names to check off. I am not about to attempt a homemade craft as someone’s gift (I will leave that to their 1st grader), but I think we all like gifts that show sentiment. Don’t get me wrong—these days, I love a good gift card, but I’m going to remember getting the gift saying my person took time to think about me & make something for me. Thoughtfulness produces connection. Being thoughtful doesn’t have to necessarily mean homemade, but I think sometimes it’s the perfect way to show our investment in someone’s life.
Enter: Pimento Cheese. Make a few batches, put some in whatever size mason jars you buy, slap a red bow on top, & pair it with a simple note. Does your person have a party or family gathering coming up? They can serve this as their homemade contribution. Is your person tired from all the Christmas festivities? This stuff transfers great to the couch with some crackers, apple slices, or a spoon. Pimento cheese can make people happy. You can literally give people happiness with this gift. And don’t forget to keep some for yourself because I want you to be happy, too.
(**Disclaimer: If you eat half a batch of pimento cheese in one night, this may not make you happy. Boundaries, people. #Whyisadultingsohard? )
Pimento Cheese via Jen Hatmaker
1 block shredded sharp cheddar
1 block shredded Colby jack
¼ – ½ C mayo (REAL mayo)
¼ – ½ C plain Greek yogurt (Don’t go fat free. Stop it.)
1 T Dijon
¼ C chopped pimentos
¼ C chopped roasted red peppers
¼ C candied jalapenos (This adds sweet AND zing. You can always make it plain & then add these as a topping if there are people in your life who may not approve. Although I don’t know why you would be friends with these people. Short people under the age of 5 are still acceptable.)
Salt & Pepper
2-3 dashes cayenne
Optional: bacon, chopped pecans
Mix together your shredded cheese (or let your food processor do it for you), & then add in all of your things. Boom, done. (You can also lightly spray your food processor with cooking spray to make it easier to clean. I never remember to do this.)
If you work in the church nursery & happen to read this, I really hope you like cheese.