We can all look back at the family celebrations of our childhood and have something that stands out as a lasting memory. I am a foodie at heart and most of my fondest memories revolve around food. Seriously. Depending on whose house we were celebrating at, there are always one or two special dishes that I can remember a household by. Those memories of food make me warm and cozy inside and have been the inspiration for many of the recipes I create, or mimic.
Christmas for me at my paternal grandparents was all about one thing. The second I walked into the door I gave my kisses and hugs, escaping as quickly as possible to the table that was always set up in the living room, with the crock of grandpa’s famous, even if only to me, Pimento cheese. This is were I would stay until I was so full my belly ached or my parents pulled me away so that I would have room for dinner.
My grandparents were from a small town in Ohio, named Logan and my grandma came to California with the recipe in tote. Where it originally came from we aren’t quite sure. Over the years, grandpa began making it as his contribution to the Christmas meal. As a child I only knew it as grandpa’s recipe, which is especially odd, because I have no recollection of ever seeing him in the kitchen doing anything, aside from getting a beer.
I remember telling friends over the years about this wonderful Pimento cheese, but nobody had any idea of what I was talking about. A few years back Trader Joe’s carried a version, but it was after going vegan so I never tried it. Though I have to admit I was tempted. I had marked it down to one of those things that I would never have again. A memory I would never be able to share with my daughter, until…
Christmas dinner 2013 was at my parents. My mom and daughter had been working on a top-secret surprise a few days before, that I wasn’t allowed to know about. With the help of Daiya cheese, my mom was able to recreate my grandparents Pimento Cheese. It seriously brought tears of joy to my eyes and I think I alone ate half of the crock by myself. I did however take a break to teach my daughter to stuff it in the hole of a black olive, for the ultimate Pimento cheese eating experience. Best Christmas gift ever!
My mom has been kind enough to allow me to share this recipe with all of you. If you have the opportunity to give it a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
*Do not use the shredded Daiya because it is too dry. You need to use the wedges and grate it yourself.
*This was my grandparents recipe. A dash equals one shake of the container.
*You could never have a meal at my grandparent’s house where Lawry’s wasn’t on the table. In fact, my uncle wouldn’t even taste a meal without sprinkling it all over is food. This is the seasoned salt used in the recipe. I am sure any would work, possibly altering the flavor a bit. I am thinking Himalayan salt would work well.
7.1 oz Daiya cheddar wedge – grated
7.1 oz Daiya jack wedge – grated
4 oz jar of diced pimentos drained
dash white pepper
dash garlic powder
dash seasoned salt
3/4 cup vegan mayo
Mix all ingredients together so it blends like a spread. Stuff into a crock or canning jar. Seal and allow it to set for a couple of days before serving. Works great with bread, veggies, crackers or olives.