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Y'all Know Where To Get Pimento Cheese On The West Coast?

I just got back from Charleston, South Carolina and have a real hankering for pimento cheese. I don't care what form it comes on, a ritz, white bread, a spoon, whatever, I just need it again, like now. I know that I can make it, but because I am lazy, I think it tastes better coming straight out of the plastic container. The brand "Palmetto Pimento Cheese" is the best one. Since that might not be possible over here, I guess I'll settle for homemade. So, before you read the rest of this blog, please make yourself a pimento cheese sandwich first. Or if you're lucky enough, just drive over to the grocery store and buy it in bulk.
There's a couple different recipes for pimento cheese, but I like this one best because it's simple, the way it should be.

4 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
7 oz. jar of diced and drained pimentos
2/3 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Large dash of hot sauce
Ground pepper

Stir everything together and refrigerate. Then eat!

But, if you're feeling adventurous, here's a few other fancy ways to make pimento cheese. I'm calling them fancy only because some add cream cheese or dill.
The Lee Brother's 
Food Shark's 
Miss Mattie's (Someone try this one and tell me what you think!)

Most of my trip to the south started out with one questions, "What are we going to have for lunch?" The answer was usually BBQ. I would skip breakfast every morning because I prefer to be starving when I order, it makes things taste better. The question that usually followed was, "Will there be air conditioning?" The answer was always yes. Coming from spending four summers in France, I sometimes forget that America no longer runs on Dunkin', but rather air conditioning. The heat wave going through Europe right now has me stressed out and I'm not even there. I already decided that if I was there I would either be first in line at Darty's to buy a window unit, or blow all my savings and go stay at the Ritz. I would probably end up going to the Ritz because the amount of Chanel products from the Spa that I would steal would pay for the room itself. But back to the BBQ... I started out being a lover of a pulled chicken sandwich, but I've made the transition to brisket because I am now an adult. As for the sides, just get them all.

There's a place in Savannah, Georgia that is home to my mom's all time favorite restaurant. I think she's mentioned it before, Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. This restaurant is responsible for about half of our family recipes. We always eat her sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving. But, the thing is that not that many of us have actually been there, we just took her word for it. My entire life I have been taught to believe that Mrs. Wilkes is the only restaurant that was worth anything, and I hadn't even been there. About five years ago, my aunt and I decided it was time for me to experience Mrs. Wilkes for myself. Her restaurant is only open for a few hours a day and there's usually a line, so timing is critical. We woke up early to a slight rainstorm, got in the car and started the 2 hour drive to Savannah. About 45 minutes into the trip the rain turned into a hurricane and we couldn't see the road. So we settled for Chick-Fil-A and turned around. Now, 5 years later, we decided we have to go or else I would be haunted. We got up early on Saturday and drove to Savannah on a sunny day. The drive over to Savannah is mainly on a small highway that passes through some towns that would scare even the biggest hillbillies. Have you ever seen the show True Detective? Well, I'm pretty sure we passed Ledoux. He was on a lawn mower and everything. I loved it. Then we passed some hand drawn signs to "turn right for moonshine". We didn't turn, but thought about it. Then we passed a strip club in the wetlands. I already loved Savannah. The second purpose of the Savannah leg of our trip was to antique shop. We had done our research and carefully planned which ones to go to first. The first stop was actually not so much a shop, it was a listing on Craigslist.
We pulled onto the street and immediately began looking for something that could be used as a weapon. Starbucks napkins would have to do. This woman was selling a dining table, six chairs, an armoire and buffet table for $450, it was worth more than our lives. My aunt checked it out in the room that doubled as their hurricane food room while I kept guard. The first thing you have to do when entering the home of someone from Craigslist with a too good to be true ad, is assess the decor. Do they have family photos? Is there a TV? Are there any muffled screams from the second floor? Then, locate the exits. It's similar to the safety demonstration on an airplane, but no brochure. Everything went fine thanks to my ocular pat down and the dining set looked great. My aunt told the woman we would think about it and come back with a larger car to pick it up maybe. We walked to the door we came in from and it was fucking locked. My mind raced back to my safety training and if I still though I could do a back handspring. Just as I finished my stretching, she said, "Oh, sorry it locks automatically," and opened the door. Moral of the story, I'm crazy and not everyone is a killer.
The next few hours were spent going antique shop to antique shop where I got enough pieces to fill an entire imaginary house. This next Have Some Decorum sale is going to be insane. Just wait.
It was now 1pm and we were starving, it was finally time for Mrs. Wilkes. I pulled up the address on Google. Closed. Closed? CLOSED?!
Mrs. Wilkes isn't open on a Saturday. Dumbass.
Usually something like this would make me cry. Instead, I burst out laughing. Was my mom playing a cruel joke on us? Probably. Or we really are just dumbasses who didn't check the hours before driving to a different state. So instead of sitting in the car in sorrow or getting Chick-Fil-A again, we went into the historic district of Savannah to a famous antique shop called "Alex Raskin Antiques."

Shop might not be the correct term actually, it's an entire townhouse that hasn't been touched by a contractor since it was first built, it's perfect. Alex Raskin has filled the entire mansion with the most beautiful antiques from the floor to the ceiling. It was heaven, or so I heard. I haven't been because it was closed!
The next few hours of the day were spent wondering in and out of other OPEN antique shops and sweating through my pants. Savannah is actually an antique mecca, there's even a guide, a real printed up guide of all the antique shops within walking distance.

We went to one that was filled with the most beautiful and delicate dishes. There were little passage ways all throughout the rooms with dishes everywhere, even on the floor. Also, the floor was tiger print carpet, I loved it. Until I overheard someone arguing with the store owner over dishes they had broken when browsing. My aunt and I left carefully while trying to stop our shopping bags from swinging. It was about time for lunch anyways. We decided to try Paula Deen's Southern buffet style restaurant. On the drive over there, we remembered she was raciest and made a reservation somewhere else.
The Grey is a new restaurant in Savannah that's inside of an old Greyhound bus station. There's a huge buzz surrounding this place since the chef was voted one of the best new Southern chefs. Here's what the website says about this new spot:

"Bonded by a common viewpoint on what makes for delicious food, Johno Morisano and Chef Mashama Bailey partnered to build The Grey in Historic Downtown Savannah. Occupying a 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal that they painstakingly restored to its original luster, They Grey offers a food, wine and service experience that is simultaneously familiar and elevated. Bringing her personal take on Port City Southern food to a city of her youth allows Mashama to tap into all of her experiences to create dishes that are deep, layered, and soulful in their flavors. With a penchant of regional produce, seafood and meats, guests will find a melting pot of surprising and conforming tastes in all of Mashama's cooking with something new revealed in each and every visit. A focus on European wines, Atlantic Trade liquors, and warm, old-world hospitality are the additional elements necessary to provide a complete experience for guests. The Grey continues the building's long tradition of transporting people to a destination, but that destination is now one of elevated hospitality and intrinsic satisfaction."

Sounds great right!?! Again, I would't know. We sat at our table for 30 minutes before ordering. That's not that bad, it was busy and new, give them a break. We finally ordered some fried chicken sandwiches and an appetizer. Well, another 30 minutes went by, no food. Finally our toast arrived, which was just a piece of bread and some ricotta on top. Uh... ok. It wasn't good either. When the waiter dropped off the piece of bread, he asked if we would like to order and was not aware that we already ordered, 30 minutes ago. We canceled our order instead and left. We were hangry.
So now it was 4pm and we hadn't eaten anything and had sweated out all the iced coffee we had drank. But, there was one more antique shop to go to! Again, shop might not be the best word, this was a warehouse. Thinking about it already stresses me out so here are some photos instead.

So, we got home from Savannah starving but with loot. We ended up eating at Whole Foods. I give that meal a 10/10, would recommend.
If you know me even just a little bit, you know I love ghosts. So when I heard there was a haunted jail tour in Charleston, I had to go. If you're in Charleston even just for an hour, go on this tour! You can find out more about it HERE. You won't regret it. The guide takes you through the abandoned jail, room by room, and tells what creepy shit happened here hundreds of years before. The entire time I was inviting the spirits to send me a message or the very least take over my body, but unfortunately, that didn't happen. It was extremely spooky though. The guide at the end takes you down to the morgue and turns off all the lights. I didn't want it to end! They also do midnight paranormal hunting with night vision and everything, but I'll save that for my next trip.

I'm now back in Washington where there are considerably less ghosts. I'm working on the next sale though! So, like always, I wanted to give you a sneak peak. These are some of my favorite items. Everything will be available next Tuesday. I changed the sales from Mondays to Tuesdays, because Mondays are my self tanning day, so it's difficult to do both in a day.

The first items here are not actually for sale, I just want to show you them. One lucky lady already snagged these. It's a pair of French early 19th century cathedral candle holders! I had one that my mom had found in Paris about 10 years ago and thought I would never see another. Then, in a tiny shop in Savannah, I hit the jackpot! I will now forever be on the hunt for more of these, I'm making it my life's mission.

Ok, so this piece is actually for sale. It's a large plaster and horse hair column capital. When my mom and grandma were buying for their store Circa in Paris, they came across a dealer with all these beautiful plaster casts and pieces. One of my favorites that they purchased was a plaster bust without a head wearing military armor. The inside was hollow so at the store they filled it with beautiful flowers or an ice bucket with champagne. I don't have any photos of it in the store because it sold during the first 30 minutes the store was open. This capital can be used the same way! It's deep enough to hide the vase or ice bucket, so only what you want to show, shows!

There's also a tall bronze alter stick. I clearly have a thing for alter sticks. This one is a little different than the normal painted wood ones though. I hadn't seen a metal alter stick before so I was a little surprised and intrigued by this intricate piece. Then, in Charleston, I went to a beautiful but way overpriced home store where a man was selling almost these exact alter sticks! His were actually not as good as mine, but I wasn't about to say that.

The last item I'm on the verge of keeping for myself is this antique Bareuther Bavaria china tea set with thirteen pieces! There's a tea pot, a sugar pot with a lid, creamer and four tea cups with saucers. Just imagine this set being pulled out on a tray to the snotty members of your bookclub, it would impress! Gold really does go with anything, but I think it would look especially nice on a Chinoiserie tray or maybe a clear lucite one.
There's still some items online from the last few sales at like a dark brown tortoise shell, cathedral style outdoor sconces, landscape oil paintings and much more!
Get ready for Tuesday, 6am PST xoxox


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  2. Oh, Grace, you write with flair and you definitely inherited a lot of your mother's personality. I love the antiques you will have in the sale! Keep up the good work. I adore pimento cheese and my mother made it frequently - almost exactly like the recipe you provided. Pimento cheese can also be used for tiny tea sandwiches, along with the cucumber and the chicken salad sandwiches.

  3. I've enjoyed this post so very very much. You tell a story, well your adventure, with as much gusto and fun as your Mom used to. I only wish you would post more often. When you do, I savor each and every word. Thanks for making my day. Bonnie in Hot Wisconsin.

  4. Hello Gracie, I missed your blogs, I dont have money to buy these lovely items but I missed you anyway!

  5. When I was a little girl, my mom used to buy pimento cheese in little glass containers from the Piggly Wiggly store. They had a pop off top that you open with a bottle opener and then the jar could be used as a water glass. We had a very large set. Ah, good memories! Loved the post.

  6. Dear, beautiful Grace, Wow!!! I just found you! I was wanting to look back on your mom's courageous, hilarious,and uplifting blog today,and saw this! My goodness, how proud she is of you.... still...I'm sure! I am 62 today, and fighting some health issues, which has had me down, but will save your posts for later as a birthday treat! God's blessings on you,Grace,as you continue on with your very own special style and flair of sharing life!

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