Our Foodie Friday topic this week is pimento cheese. Unless you live below the Mason-Dixon line in the US or are a regular attendee of the Masters Tournament, you might be unfamiliar with the stuff. My late father in law was from South Carolina and it was in his home that I received my introduction to it. Having grown up in New York, I had no clue that pimento cheese was, and is, a staple in most southern homes.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At its core, pimento cheese is just cheddar cheese, pimentos, and mayonnaise. That said, very few people I know who make the stuff make it that way. I’m partial to Craig Claiborne‘s recipe which incorporates two kinds of cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, scallions, garlic, and hot sauce along with the basics. Other folks will argue for hours about which kind of mayo is best, Duke’s being the regional favorite. Bell peppers, sugar, cream cheese and other ingredients might make appearances as well.
It’s great to keep a tub of pimento cheese in your fridge for a quick snack. You can also make sandwiches, slather the stuff on burgers, or use it as a dip. It actually has an interesting history that dates back to the early 20th century. As with barbecue, there are regional variations. There are also dozens of pre-made brands sold in the supermarkets although I’m fairly certain one can whip up a batch in less time than it takes to go shopping for the inferior, premade product. What’s the business point?
As with pimento cheese, there is no single right way to accomplish most business goals. Very often, the route we choose is based on the resources we have, just as the final cheese product can depend on what’s lying around the pantry. We need to keep open minds about proposed solutions and keep them as simple as possible. One needn’t go to the trouble of making mayo or using fancy cheese in order to get a great result. The best recipe is the one that gives you an outcome that pleases you the most, both in the kitchen and in business.
I wrote about pimento cheese a few years ago. I ended that post by reminding us that our job as managers is to get everyone on the same page no matter which recipe we settle upon. Good advice then as well as now, I hope. Enjoy the weekend!
Filed under Consulting, food
We normally do food related posts on Fridays here on the screed but since there is something else that deserves out attention happening tomorrow I’m doing our Foodie Friday Fun post today.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This week’s topic is a food that is a staple here are Rancho Deluxe and in many homes – most of them a lot further south than here – around the country: Pimento Cheese. For those of you unfamiliar with it, pimento cheese is a blend of cheese and pimentos and other ingredients. About the only thing about which most folks agree is that it has to have cheese and pimentos and that some of the cheese needs to be yellow cheddar. Things diverge from there.
Mayonnaise? Pickle juice? Worcestershire sauce? Other cheeses? Cream cheese? Cayenne pepper? Vinegar? Depending on one’s tastes and, more importantly, family traditions, the answer is a resounding “yes” or unwavering “no”. Every family has its own recipe and unique prep method. Basically, if it’s not made the way your mom or grandmother makes it, the spread is just not right. It’s a simple food that restaurants often dress up (Abbamare infused pimento cheese with heirloom peppers – shoot me!) unnecessarily. It’s also the sort of food that demonstrates a few very basic truths about business.
First, when you’re charging people with a task, be very specific if you’re expecting a specific result. “Make me pimento cheese” can mean very different things. “Use this recipe and make me pimento cheese” gets you a better result. Second, there is usually more than one way to get an excellent solution. For those of us who didn’t grow up with a family recipe, tasting different variations on the theme got us to the cheese we enjoy today. Keep an open mind – accept that many roads lead to Rome – and you’ll be better off. Finally, don’t make the simple overly complex. The differences between homemade mayo vs. jarred and imported small batch cheese in pimento cheese are silly other than to justify charging some outrageous price. Simple is generally better, faster, and more cost-effective.
As with many things in the kitchen and in the office, different people hear the same thing in different ways. Our job is to get everyone on the same page, working towards the same final product. Then we get to stand back and watch people enjoy! You with me?