Lie down with a pimento cheese sandwich, precious, until the weather passes

On a very hot hike this weekend, I was in a near-delirium, thinking that there’s no satisfactory scientific explanation for those tiny hot-weather bugs that buzz around your ears. They get closer and louder. Closer and louder. CLOSER. LOUDER.

And what about those little summer bugs that dive straight into your eyes, where you rub them to a paste? What could be the evolutionary advantage of that?

    • What does all this have to do with food? Nothing. Just to demonstrate that, if I were a character in a poem, I’d be etherized on a table.

In this weather, I give up cooking, and make a big batch of this pimento cheese. I got this recipe at an authentic small-town Southern wedding shower during a hot, hot summer 23 years ago. I was a bridesmaid, and we wore sapphire blue satin dresses and falls of artificial lilies-of-the-valley in our hair, and I’ve never eaten better in my life.

Southern Wedding pimento cheese

This makes a huge batch, so it’s good for a picnic, and it freezes very well for months.

You can now buy Velveeta already shredded, which is a real time-saver. If you shred your own, you really should cut it into chunks and freeze it first, or it turns to goo in the food processor.

2 pounds Velveeta

2 pounds Cheddar cheese

2 (8-ounce) jars pimentoes, chopped if whole

1 big clove garlic, minced

Mayonnaise

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

Before you freeze it, cut the Velveeta into manageable blocks (small enough to fit into a food processor feed tube, or to shred by hand). Freeze it. (Unfrozen Velveeta turns to goo when you try to shred it.)

Shred the cheeses and put them into a big bowl. Add the pimentoes, garlic and black pepper. Mix mayonnaise and vinegar and blend them with the cheese mixture. Let flavors blend in refrigerator a few hours. Makes nearly 5 pounds of spread. Freeze for up to several months.

Reduced-fat and fat-free cheeses work fine here. Reduce fat further by thinning the mayonnaise with a couple of tablespoons of fat-free plain yogurt.