Menifee Foodie: Southern Manners and Pimento Cheese Spread

By Malissa Meeks

Being raised in Florida, I consider myself a Southern Belle. Even though it has been many years since I lived down south, I will always be a Southern Belle. You can take the Belle out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the Belle.

There are some serious rules that must be followed in order to be a Southern Belle. Here are a few of my favorites, taken from The Southern Belle Primer.

1. "Even though Princess Margaret wore white shoes after Labor Day during a visit to the United States, that doesn’t mean you should, too. (Her press secretary had to issue a "statement" to clear up that the English have no such rules). A Southern Belle never wears white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day."
2. "My dear, this is something you must always remember. Your bosom can be fake. Your smile can be fake and your hair color can be fake. But your pearls and your silver must always be real."
3. "Make sure that the punch served at your wedding reception matches the bridesmaid’s shoes. Duh."
4. "You don’t want a deviled egg plate? Well, bless your heart.” really can’t imagine anyone not having a deviled egg plate.

I was taught how to entertain by the best. My mother was known for her entertaining. If you were invited to one of her dinner parties, soirees, gatherings or shindigs, you were fortunate.

Every night, dinner was a formal event. The table was always set as if company was coming. I remember learning the "proper" way to set a table and took great pride when I was able to do this without any "reminders" from my mom. I will always be grateful for my ability to put together a great party. Thanks, Mom.

In the South, a favorite appetizer for any event is Pimento Cheese Spread. Christmas is not Christmas without it. Of course, no one makes it better than my mother, but I do try.

As the holidays approach, I hope you will be able to incorporate this recipe into your holiday entertaining. This is one of those recipes that can be made days ahead or time and actually tastes better when it has been in the fridge for a couple of days.

Pimento Cheese

1 lb. yellow cheese (Sharp, Medium, Mild Cheddar, or Longhorn, etc.)
1 or 2 large jars of chopped pimentos
½ to 1 medium onion finely chopped
Mayonnaise (enough to moisten)
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste

Preparation: Grate the cheese. Dice the onions. Mix together with the pimentos (don’t drain), a little sugar, salt (to taste), and mayonnaise. Be careful not to use too much mayonnaise; you don’t want this runny, just moistened.

After mixing by hand, I put it into the food processor and mix it again to make it finer and more like a spread.

Serve on crackers.

Keep refrigerated.

There is no way that this will not be a hit at your Holiday party. I hope ya’ll all enjoy this fabulous cheese spread.

Malissa Meeks is a mother of seven who knows her way around the kitchen. By her estimate, she has prepared more than 42,000 meals over the years. She also knows what she likes in a good restaurant. Her column appears here every Tuesday. Leave comments here or email them to


Post a Comment