I am headed to the beach for a few days and have a love/hate relationship with the entire process. I love the beach, love the condo, love the washer/dryer in the condo which makes clothes packing extremely easy, but I hate the getting ready part.
In an effort to keep our costs down I generally cook most of our dinners in. Several of the meals will be grilled fish a salad and rolls, which is easy (I mean, we are going to the beach after all and a seafood shop is just a couple of minutes from the condo.) But I get tired of cooking on my vacation (It is my vacation also, right?) so I try to have a couple of easily totable things prepared that require little more than a quick warm up. (Spaghetti sauce and Picadillo, and yes I know neither of these are beachy sounding but they travel well and are done!)
However, in addition to dinners, I have to have foods for breakfast and lunch, which is something that is not generally on my radar. I will eat whatever is leftover, so if it means salad for breakfast or a teaspoon of green beans, a tablespoon of baked beans and a slice of cheese for lunch that is fine with me. Having these other people around changes the dynamics and I will need designated and meal appropriate offerings. Here again I don't mind a little gathering and placing things for these meals, but there is no way I am going to cook. Cereal, it's the breakfast of champions and if anyone wants anything hot there is a McD's about a block from the place.
That leaves lunch as the wildcard of the day. When we get to the beach I will buy some cold cuts and sliced cheese, but TheHub is very finicky about eating cold sandwiches, and I am not cooking at all in the middle of the day, so I will buy smoked tuna dip, and have some shrimp steamed at the seafood shop for him to nosh on. I will take several types of crackers and I made pimento cheese. (Which is the only sandwich that man will willingly eat unheated)
Pimento cheese is a Southern staple and is about the easiest food in the world to make. The best ones are made of 2 or 3 different cheeses, mayo with no sugar, and chopped pimentos as a base. After that whatever your personal taste dictates is what you should put in it.
Basic Pimento Cheese
1 pound less 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Monteray Jack cheese
(if i had Gouda on hand I would have added a cup of it and 1 less cup of the cheddar)
1/4-1/3 cup mayo (I use 1/4 but a lot of people like it with more mayo)***
1 4 ounce jar chopped pimentos, drained
pepper to taste
Grate cheese and let it sit covered until it reaches room temp. With a fork stir in the mayo and pimentos. Keep stirring until it reaches the consistency you like. This is a very personal preference. I like mine chunky where you get a real cheese "feel" in each bite. Mom, on the other hand puts hers in her food processor and blends it to a mousse like consistency. Since I am a tactile eater, hers gives me the creeps, but no judgement on anyone who prefers to eat it this way.
TheHub is a pimento cheese purist so the only thing I added was about 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. I prefer mine with minced jalapeno, but I left it out cause I am nice like that. At various times I have added chopped pecans, chopped bacon, minced olives,minced scallions or a combination of them all. It really is all about what you like and what you feel like adding (or have on hand). Plop it on crackers or spread it on bread as a sandwich filling. Just a note: Grilled pimento cheese sandwiches are to die for! I have even used it in mac and cheese for a true taste treat.
Try it and you might like it, but realize if you want to be truly southern while eating it make sure you call it pimmenacheeze.
*** This is best if you use a good quality mayonnaise (Screaming Dukes! Dukes! Dukes! Dukes! ) but it can be made with Miracle Whip (gag me with a spoon!)
p.s. I have no affiliation with any products at all. If I mention a brand it is because I use it regularly and like it. So when I mention the mayo it is because I just truly love Dukes.