The Masters, one of the four major championships in professional golf and the first of the majors played every year, begins this week. Played annually at the illustrious Augusta National Golf Club, just 100 miles northwest of us here on Skidaway Island, Augusta National is notorious for a lot of things. The immaculately maintained historical grounds, bright bursting azaleas, and zealously guarded traditions, to name a few. The rather iconic pimento cheese sandwich that sells on site for a mere $1.50 is one of these traditions. Many of our locals are Masters regulars and lucky enough to score those coveted tickets; the rest of us will remain here on our lovely island, settling for watching the famed tournament with a big screen TV to watch, an Arnold Palmer (who designed 2 of our Landings courses) to sip on (perhaps laced with a bit of local Ghost distillery vodka), and a humble pimento cheese sandwich to snack on.
As I aspire to become a decent southern cook my pimento sandwich is adapted from the mother of my dear friend Karen Dietz. Henrietta Ciarrocca was raised in the south and her daughter was gracious enough to share her mother's family recipe which I have enjoyed. However, I must confess, my adaptation tweaks this a tad to include bits of shaved smoked gouda cheese, and crab. The revered of Augusta are shaking their heads and waging their fingers at me. Southern women generally embrace tradition, yet are clever enough to use the rules to their own favor. Point noted.
I call this The Karen's Masters’ celebrated pimento cheese sandwich. (a nod to "both" Karen's ) If you want the recipe you're going to have to come visit us. And I'll be happy to serve it right up. Happy Masters Week from Georgia, ya’ll!