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Boxcar Betty and the Pimiento Cheese

Boxcar Betty and the Pimiento Cheese

The last couple of days in the low country have been tough. Yesterday, my insurance claims adjuster called it—my car is officially totaled. Today, our new veterinarian called to say that Tabitha, the feisty fat orange tabby that I’ve had since I was 14, is experiencing kidney failure. It was as I discussed potential treatment options for my girl that I wondered, what’s the third thing?, because bad things always come in threes, right?

I got my answer a few short hours later at dinner time. While out picking up Tabitha’s new medical regimen, my Amazingly Significant Other decided to pick up some southern cuisine from Boxcar Betty’s, an award-winning establishment specializing in fried chicken sandwiches. Since I’m a pescatarian, hubs thoughtfully selected the vegetarian option for me—a portobello mushroom top, stuffed with pimiento (pimento?) cheese, breaded, and fried to a crispy golden brown—fair enough. Nothing against Boxcar Betty, she seems like she knows her stuff, but pimiento cheese—what in the actual fuck?

I love cheese, I thought all cheese. Even the cheese that I’m not super enthusiastic about like pungent feta and sour gjetost, they’re not my favorites but I respected the process and history behind them. I’ve never come across a cheese I didn’t like…until today.

Pimiento cheese, for those of you who are blissfully unaware, is apparently a southern favorite. It’s a confluence of cheddar, cream cheese, pimientos, and mayonnaise mixed with varying spices. Basically, you take four perfectly good ingredients and you ruin them. I knew when we moved from New England that there would be an adjustment period and I’m not trying to knock southern cooking, the south has certainly done some interesting things with corn, to say the least, but pimiento cheese is dead to me.

If you’re feeling, I don’t know, self-loathing? Here is a classic pimiento cheese recipe from Taste of the South magazine—you’ve been warned, y’all.


PS—This is my gorgeous girl, please send her good thoughts <3