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"Masters" Pimento Cheese Sandwich

fresh pimento cheese

A few weeks ago I popped into an estate sale in my neighborhood and immediately introduced myself to the woman who appeared to be hosting the sale.  She told me she would soon be moving into the home which had previously belonged to her parents.

Honestly, estate sales creep me out a bit.  Walking through someone's home, rummaging through their stuff.  But this particular sale was just a few doors down and truthfully, I've always wanted to see the backyard.  The woman's mother (or father) must have been a heck of a gardener.  

As I walked through the dated kitchen, a vintage grater caught my eye.  It just felt special to me.  When I went to pay the woman for my new found treasure, she fondly and quietly exclaimed under her breath,  "Mama's grater." The expression in her voice suggested there was a cherished memory attached to the old kitchen gadget. Perhaps she wasn't quite ready to part with it for the few measly dollars I was about to pay her.  Her friend who was assisting with the sale encouraged her to let it go...."she couldn't keep everything."

When I returned home later, I thought about how many great memories are created in the kitchen, the heart of the home!  Some of my best memories as a kid (and  an adult) are the times spent cooking during the holidays with my mom, sisters and cousins.  There is a special bond formed between people in the kitchen.  Teaching, learning, talking, laughing, loving.

Pimento cheese is definitely one of those Southern traditions that perhaps many of you remember your mothers and grandmothers making, and while this was my first time making it, maybe this old grater had done this a time or two?  The excitement of the Masters last week sparked me to search for the famous pimento cheese recipe of Augusta National, but I was unsuccessful.  Apparently, the recipe is just as coveted as their memberships!  However, I did happen upon this suggestion by former Gourmet magazine food editor, Ruth Cousineau.  I hope you enjoy it.

Augusta National pimento cheese recipe

"Masters" style Pimento Cheese 
found here and adapted

Makes 2 sandwiches
4 oz. extra-sharp Vermont yellow cheddar, finely grated (1 1/2 cups)  
Half a jar of pimento (3 oz.), drained, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons Duke's mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Texas Pete pepper sauce
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 cup watercress sprigs, tough stems discarded.
To prepare: Mash cheese, pimento, mayonnaise, and hot pepper sauce in a small bowl with a fork until well combined. Season with salt to taste. Cover and chill 1 hour for flavors to blend. Spread pimento cheese evenly on bread. Top with watercress sprigs. Cut each sandwich into triangles and serve.
*My notes:  
Be sure to use a good quality cheese and grate yourself.  
After dicing the pimentos, press them in a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  
To serve Augusta National style, use simple white bread.


  1. LOL, Southern Belle Simple sent me your way because she knows I am on a major Pimento Cheese kick right now. Actually, I have found a brand that I love more than any homemade I have ever had (made on Pawley's Island called Palmetto is to die for!!!).

    I love estate sales but do sometimes really feel bad for the families but I love the history behind the objects. Love your blog, btw. Have a happy Thursday!

  2. Neat post, Amy!

    You're so right about kitchens and cooking creating lots of memories. I have several pieces in my kitchen that are from my late grandmother, and I love using them and thinking about how they were used many years before in her kitchen. Always makes me smile :)

    My mom has a wonderful pimento cheese recipe that I grew up eating. For some reason I've never gotten it, and I'm guilty of buying deli brands when I want some. I think you've spurred me to change that - I'll have to get my mom's recipe *and* try yours.

    And yes - there's such a difference in freshly grated, quality cheese and the bagged pre-shredded stuff!!

  3. Bella,

    Yes, I also really like Pawley's pimento cheese. It's definitely the next best thing to homemade :)

    Meg-would love to see how your mom's recipe compares! I'm sure it's delicious.

  4. ONCE AGAIN, you have brought me a wonderful memory of my Grandma Edna...thanks so much, SP!

  5. I am definitely making this---this weekend! :) pimento cheese is one of my favorites! If I had all the ingredients, I'd be eating it for dinner! : )
    Thanks for the recipe.

  6. I love this and the thought of the grater... what a great story to open up to a recipe... makes me want to cook even more.

  7. one of my favorite things. though I get lazy and by the pre-shredded most of the time

  8. Good afternoon from Tokyo!

    What a delicious treat! One of our favorite things to eat when in Oxford is Nuke's grilled pimento chees sandwich. It's heaven! Thank you for sharing a much sought after recipe.



  9. Amy, I completely neglected to add that I'm hosting a fabuolus giveaway! A lovley chef like yourself needs to stop by to check it out.



  10. there is nothing I love more than pimento cheese. I make my own all the time. Love the idea of adding hot sauce!

  11. Great post!

    When my stepmom's mother passed away, the only thing I wanted of hers was a glass pie dish b/c it reminded me of her baking. I love your estate sale find and it's nice to know that it will continue being treasured by you.

  12. I love this great tasting recipe...A must try!