Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cookbooks, Frank Stitt, Pimento Cheese, Mayonnaise and Two Lucky Winners!

To begin, I want to say welcome to my readers from Season To Taste, the food column I write every month for Heartland Women and post here at Cora Cooks. In this month's column, I promised I would be giving away copies of Frank Stitt's cookbooks to two lucky readers. A thinly veiled attempt at luring readers from one place to the other, I know.

Now, if you read the post of my HW column about my trip to Birmingham and dinner at Highlands Bar & Grill, you might remember that MFH bought new copies of both cookbooks at Highlands Bar & Grill, and had them signed by Frank, just for me. This means I've got an extra (unsigned!) copy of both cookbooks (gently used in a no pet, smoke-free kitchen), of course. Now I want to pass them along to two lucky Cora Cooks readers. Remember, I'm a cookbook c-o-l-l-e-c-t-o-r, not a hoarder.

Here's where you can skip ahead to the details of the cookbook giveaway OR read on to follow my thought process and masterful writing skills to connect seemingly random thoughts.

First . . . I need to tell you that there is a wonderful recipe for Miss Verba's Pimento Cheese in Frank Stitt's Southern Table cookbook. Remember the Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich from a few days ago? Well, it would be to-die-for with Miss Verba's Pimento Cheese! I know because Becky, my neighbor, loves to make it and she always shares some with me. I'm not going to reprint the recipe here, or tell you who Miss Verba is, because it just wouldn't be right to deprive you of reading the whole cookbook. But I will tell you, Miss Verba knows a lot more about pimento cheese than I ever will!

Second . . . for true pimento cheese lovers, a lot of its charm and deliciousness depends on the kind of mayonnaise used to bind the cheese and pimentos together. Some swear by homemade, even going so far as to eschew the food processor in favor of hand mixing. I've made it by both methods and only my Cuisinart knows which I prefer. Those who no longer make their own mayonnaise probably fall into either the Hellman's camp, or the Kraft camp or, for Southerners, the Duke's camp. At the other extreme, there may be a few cooks who use lite mayo or Miracle Whip, but who am I to judge them?

I was raised on Hellman's mayonnaise, also known as Best Foods mayonnaise when we moved to California. I have a sentimental fondness for it and I know my mother's potato salad would not taste the same without Hellman's! But, after years and year's in North Carolina, Duke's mayonnaise made its way into my life, and my refrigerator, and it is there to stay! Believe it or not, I've recently discovered it at my local Kroger store! No longer do I have to import my supply of Duke's mayonnaise! (I keep telling you this is Southern Illinois!)

The difference between Duke's and Hellman's is difficult to describe. Duke's just tastes better! The one thing I know for sure is that Duke's does not list sugar as an ingredient, and Hellman's does, although I would not say that Hellman's is really sweeter. I just know I've come to prefer the taste of Duke's in almost everything, but especially pimento cheese.

Have you been following along, or did you skip the mind maze that took us from my column, my trip, restaurants, cookbooks, pimento cheese, and mayonnaise? Either way, I'm glad you made it to the exciting cookbook giveaway. Drum roll please . . .

So here's the deal, now that I've connected these random thought dots, tell me your thoughts on mayo. Do you like it? What kind do you buy? Are you loyal to one brand? Or do you make homemade mayonnaise?

And while we're at it . . . how about Pimento Cheese? Eat it? Like it? Make it?

Fill out a comment about mayo and/or pimento cheese and you'll be entered to win one of Frank Stitt's cookbooks. Post or email a Pimento Cheese recipe and you'll get your name entered not once, but TWICE!

Comments should be posted here by midnight (CDT) on Monday, March 23. The two winning names will be posted on Tuesday, March 24. Please be sure to include your name with your comment!

The in-house random generator (names on slips of paper in a big mixing bowl drawn by my handsome assistant) will choose two winners. The first name drawn will win a copy of Frank Stitt's Southern Table, and the second name will win Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita.

I like knowing my extra "previously owned" copies of both cookbooks will be going to good homes. Comments anyone?


Dianna said...

Dianna Reusch says, "Bring out the Hellman's and bring out the best." (But I've never tried Duke's--and I DO LIKE THAT NAME!)

BMK said...

I love Pimento Cheese. I'm extremely loyal to my Hellman's Mayo!

Sharon said...

Your question brought back a funny memory. As a young child I acquired a taste for Miracle Whip but w/o warning one day in 2nd grade my parents had switched to Hellman's. They were convinced that a child would never notice the difference, ha! I took one bite before tearfully announcing to the class that my sandwich had spoiled in the coat room! My parents were embarrassed to learn that I readily accepted lunch donations from my classmates but that did not deter them from trying to slip in the Hellman's into my future lunches, always with the same result! LOL. 32 years ago I married a confirmed lover of Hellman's and I can not eat any other brand of mayo but still sneak back to the Miracle Whip to make hubby's fav coleslaw with my "secret ingredient". We love Pimento Cheese. Thanks for your great blog.

Anonymous said...

Big fans of pimento cheese here in New England!!! Our household mayonnaise is Hellman's.....homemade is still the best, though! Pam

Becky said...

Cora, great post as usual. I am a Hellman's girl and have been for years, though I would like to try Duke's. Can't stand Miracle Whip. YUCK! There are times though, that only homemade mayonnaise will do. And to be honest, I use my food processor to make it now. LOL.

Pimento cheese is a favourite sandwich spread at our house. Mostly we eat it during the summer. I'm guessing that's because we eat more sandwiches in the summer.

Cora said...

And the winners are:

BMK of Reservations Not Required wins Frank Stitt's Southern Table


Becky of Random Musings of a Deco Lady wins Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita

Congratulations and thanks for the comments! Email your address to me and I'll have them mailed out asap:

LaneyHaney said...

Thank you for a great article about one of my favorite comfort foods. I'm a pimento cheese lover, and it took me about 10 years to perfect my recipe. As with most foods, there's simply nothing better than homemade, and I thoroughly enjoy making it from scratch. (My friends also love getting tubs of it as gifts!)

I used Hellmann's for years, but I have switched to Duke's, because of its thickness and richness. I also enjoy and recommend JFG Real Mayonnaise, another great Southern brand that's made in Knoxville.