If I were a musician, a.k.a. a “rock & roll” star, last night would have been considered my first gig.
I arrived at the Wilson County Fair Saturday afternoon around 1pm. I had been advised by Shelly Barnes, who was my point of contact for the event, to do so as it was the last day of the Fair. Large crowds were expected and she did not want me to sit waiting to enter and park. Upon arrival, I was greeted by one of the Fair volunteers on a golf cart. She transported me and my items to the exhibit building. I felt like a VIP and was thankful for her timely arrival. Otherwise I would have been making three trips back and forth from my vehicle to collect everything.
It was too hot to walk around too much yesterday afternoon, but I did get out a couple of times and walk through some of the exhibitions. Otherwise I was able to stay cool and hydrated. Around 5:00 pm, my “entourage” arrived. I enlisted the video and photography services of my neighbor, Andy Tomlinson. He has done several video projects in the past and I asked him to preserve and record my demonstration so that family members not able to attend could see it. Andy brought Chance Edwards to assist in videography and Dianna Griffey shot over 100 still images. They were able to get unloaded before a rainstorm hit the fairgrounds.
From there, it was T-minus 90 minutes before showtime. My demo would consist of preparing Pimento Cheese as well as my Sweet PC Delight dessert. I prepared 2 desserts the night before and portioned them into 2 ounce cups. I prepared 2 loaves of bread-worth of pimento cheese sandwiches Friday evening. My presentation skills in the kitchen are something I will always struggle with. The decision was made to use a round cookie cutter and cut-out samples of the sandwiches like ones served as an appetizer. The 2 loaves worth of sandwiches yielded over 100 rounds! The scraps left over from the rounds were mainly crusted sides, many of which still had a good amount of pimento cheese. I did not throw those away and I’ll reveal at the end of the post what I did with them.
When it came time for the demo to begin, luckily most all of the 40 chairs were filled. As I mentally prepared for what I would present, I decided to make it as conversational as possible. In my day job, I am a facilitator and trainer. I just channeled those previous experiences with a different topic. I asked questions of the audience during my presentation and was able to connect with them.
I spoke of my cookbook project and how mine will be different. It did not take long to prepare my dishes (i purposely chose recipes that did not require many steps for my first demo) and was able to serve my samples and yield questions from the audience. As door prizes for my audience, I gave 5 bags of grits direct from my hometown of Lakeland, Georgia. I asked questions to see if my audience had paid attention to my presentation and 5 lucky folks took home Gayla’s Grits.
I will post more photos and video of my demo in the next few weeks. I will also share my pimento cheese recipe as well as the recipe for my Sweet PC Delight. However, today I want to post the recipe that I created out of my scraps leftover from the sandwiches last night. It is much like what you would find in something called an Overnight Sausage Casserole.
Pimento Cheese Sandwich Frittata
This recipe was tested using scraps from Pimento Cheese sandwiches that were cut into rounds using a round cookie cutter. If you don’t have an occasion to make party sandwiches, i would experiment using whole sandwiches, approximately six, or take six slices of bread and spread pimento cheese on top.
Take a 2 quart casserole dish and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the bottom of your casserole with the sandwich scraps, enough to cover the bottom of the dish and not overlapping. Set aside.
1 - 8 ounce package diced ham
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon dry mustard
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Sprinkle diced ham on top of sandwich scraps. In a bowl, whisk eggs until well beaten. Add half and half and dry mustard and mix to combine. Pour mixture over previously layered ingredients, making sure to saturate completely the entire surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper over top; cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
In the morning, pull casserole from refrigerator and let sit 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Top casserole with grated cheese and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to rest 30 minutes before serving.