Summer memories of childhood can be real, or imaginary, but most likely a combination of both. My paternal grandmother was a big part of my early life in West Tennessee as I have mentioned in other posts over the years. She was a very good cook, a gardener, she kept chickens for eggs and for Sunday dinners. She picked berries in the summer to make jams and jellies. She sewed and loved to sit on the porch in the summer shade shelling peas and talking about her life.
She was not a formally educated woman, but was a country woman of her time who knew how to do things and I learned a lot from her including how to make one of my favorite summer spreads which she called “minnow cheese”. As in “would you like a minnow cheese sandwich for lunch”? The silly play on words always delighted me.
I cannot remember what kind of cheese she used, but I make my “minnow cheese” with a sharp or medium white cheddar hand grated for better texture. A small jar of chopped pimientos to about 3 cups of shredded cheese is just about right. Pimiento cheese sandwiches are iconic in the South. Every family had their own recipe or variation on this cheesy spread.
A splash of pickle juice, chopped fresh dill from our little garden, freshly ground Organic Flower Pepper (thank you forever Jesse Goldstein), and a generous spoonful or two of Duke’s mayo. That is all you need to make this summer classic. We like it spread thickly on slices of Dozens Bakery Harvest Rye Bread lightly toasted with a few leaves of crisp lettuce. It is also delicious as my grandmother served it on thick white bread slices plain and simple.
Biting into one of my Grandmother’s sandwiches of minnow cheese is a very real summer memory. It is a memory that comforts me in these very not-so-comforting times. Do you have special memories of summer foods from your childhood? Have you been cooking more comfort foods lately? What are they?
Here you go…..have a bite. Here is a link to another Pimento Cheese post I did a few years ago.