iced tea (slightly sweet only, I don’t have what it takes to make, or consume, real sweet tea)
pimento cheese toasts
fresh vegetable dip with carrots
peach salsa with chips
new ambrosia salad (recipe courtesy of the Lee Brothers)
plain old potato salad (for the traditionalists)
my version of LMK’s famous corn salad
and for dessert,
monkey cake plus cupcakes
Speaking of LMK, she rightly thinks that I bring up the party menu so I can mention the monkey cake. What is monkey cake? I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a cake in the shape of a monkey face. It’s more of an idea than a cake. I’ll let you know how it goes.
For now you will have to be happy with a pimento cheese recipe. My friend Patrick, who made a delicious batch of pimento cheese at the beach, inspired this batch. Growing up pimento cheese was something that came in a very small jar. At the beach, it was nearly boundless and, served with crackers and vino verde, a great after beach snack. Go to the beach and give it a try.
Pimento Cheese for a Party
(adapted from the Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook)
2 ripe red bell peppers
8 oz. cream cheese softened
16 oz. cheddar cheese finely shredded
5 oz. mayonnaise
salt and plenty of pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste or as garnish
Roast the peppers by placing directly on burner and roasting until the skin is blackened (see below). Don’t be shy about this, you really want to get them almost totally black. Take them off the burner and place in a covered bowl or paper bag for several minutes to steam. Then, peel off the blackened skins, core, remove the seeds, and finely dice the peppers. Try and save any juice that results from the cutting process for adding to the spread.
Combine the cheddar and cream cheeses and the mayonnaise in the food processor until cohesive, but still lumpy. Add the peppers, a little bit of salt, a good deal of pepper, and red pepper flakes to your preference. Invite some people over, because you have a ton of pimento cheese. If you are not up to guests, you can cut the recipe in half and you will still have plenty.