This weekend some friends and I took a “mid-winter” getaway to Morehead. We planned it in November, as we were discussing how hard life and work can become once it’s cold and dark and dreary. We were hoping that a getaway to look forward to would help us fight the cold-weather grumps. And, before I knew it, the last weekend of January was here. The thing is, the cold weather grumps had never really come. We’ve had a few days of very cold, even a snow, but for the most part it’s been lovely (and a little terrifying coughglobalwarmingcough). But wonderful weather certainly wasn’t going to stop us from taking a beach vacation, so on Thursday night we packed up and headed south.
We spent four days in Cateret County, visiting attractions like the aquarium and the Maritime Museum, drinking bloody marys on the beach, and reading on the pier of the Swamp House. It was wonderful, relaxing, and the weather was amazing.
While we were down there I tried my hand at a recipe I’d been thinking of for a while. You see, I love pimento cheese. I love making it, eating it, and serving it to guests. But I always make the same recipe (my grandfather’s), and I’ve been wanting to try something new. So I thought about the flavors I wanted to highlight and put together a recipe that included sharp white cheddar, green olives, smoked gouda, pimentos, and of course mayo and spices.
The spread was, as I’d hoped, delicious. The smokey cheese played so nicely against the salty olives, a little bit of garlic and cayenne gave it a hint of a kick, and everything worked together to create a cohesive flavor. It was perfect with the buttery snack crackers and exactly the sort of snack you want when you’re sitting on the pier all day, reading and watching the marsh life.
This is an owl named Alba that we met at the National Aquarium at Pine Knolls Shore. She likes to watch the sharks.
Green Olive Pimento Cheese
1 medium size block of white sharp cheddar cheese
1 medium size wheel of smoked gouda
1 small jar of pimentos
1/2 cup green olives
1/4 cup mayonaisse
1 tsp garlic powder
Dash of salt, pepper, cayenne
Grate your cheese. Dice your olives. Drain pimentos. Combine. Stir in mayo and spices. Stir until well incorporated, adding more mayo to get your preferred consistency.