Pimento Cheese inspired by Outlander book Voyager

Mr. Willoughby's Coral Knob (Pimento Cheese)

The Chinaman nodded, satisfied, and sat back.  The moon was full up by now, three-quarters full, and bright enough to show the little Mandarin's face as he talked.

"Yes," he said, through Jamie, "I thought much of women; their grace and beauty, blooming like lotus flowers, floating like milkweed on the wind.  And the myriad sounds of them, sometimes like the chatter of ricebirds, or the song of nightingales; sometimes the cawing of crows," he added with a smile that creased his eyes to slits and brought his hearers to laughter, "but even then I loved them.

"I wrote all my poems to Woman -- sometimes they were addressed to one lady or another, but most often to Woman alone.  To the taste of breasts like apricots, the warm scent of a woman's navel when she wakens in the winter, the warmth or a mound that fills your hand like a peach, split with ripeness."

Fergus, scandalized, put his hands over Marsali's ears, but the rest of his hearers were most receptive.

"No wonder the wee fellow was an esteemed poet," Raeburn said with approval.  "It's verra heathen, but I like it!"

"Worth a red knob on your hat, anyday," Maitland agreed.

"Almost worth learning a bit of Chinee for," the master's mate chimed in, eyeing Mr. Willoughby with fresh interest.  "Does he have a lot of those poems?"

Voyager (Chapter 46)

Mr. Willoughby.  Yi Tien Cho.

Mandarin.  Poet.  Scholar.  Artist.  Complete.  Runaway.  Exile.

Drunk.  Foot Fetishist.  Healer.  Friend.  Traitor.  Saviour.

A complicated and, when we last left him, very desperate man who I have reduced down to nothing more than his little red globe.

But the way I look at it, if he's going to call out my peach, then I'm gonna make a cheese ball out of his coral knob.

A perennial staple at Southern picnics, potlucks and church socials, pimento cheese was actually first developed in New York at the turn of the 19th Century and gained popularity across the nation as a new, mass-produced, and modern food. Originally a combination of spanish pimiento peppers and the newly invented cream cheese, it’s popularity began to wane in the North after WWII.

Since then, Southerners, in addition to purchasing their pimento cheese from the store, have made their own homemade versions, although there is little reference to it in cookbooks, even in the South, before the 1990s.

pimento cheese

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16 Feb 2012 - 11:22am

Jen C.

"But the way I look at it, if he's going to call out my peach, then I'm gonna make a cheese ball out of his coral knob."nnNot much can make me laugh at 5:15 am....but this did. :)

16 Feb 2012 - 12:34pm

The Mom Chef …

Ohhh, so they're wee individual servings? I love that idea. They're so gorgeous that I'd put them on my coffee table. :) I'm thinking though; you probably should have included oysters in some way. The man was a hound, well and truly.

16 Feb 2012 - 1:45pm


I love the part where Fergus covers Marsali's ears!! By time we get to FC, Marsali and all the kids are corrupted by Fergus!! These look verra yummy and I will try them soon~


Yes, good old sweet, innocent Fergus, eh?

16 Feb 2012 - 1:49pm


I like that we can make individual ones or one large one- I'm going to keep this recipe handy for my next gathering, thank you!


My pleasure, Outlander Fan! I hope you clan enjoys it...Theresa

16 Feb 2012 - 2:50pm


These look tasty! I love that they are bite size. Any usual cheese ball or log is big and awkward so I normally shy away from them but these are perfectly portioned...

16 Feb 2012 - 3:32pm


LOV! ...It's so exciting to see what you come up with next!

16 Feb 2012 - 6:08pm


Never would have thought to use the cilantro/pistachio combo! I have got to try that!!! You're the (wo)man!!!


Thanks Donna...once you start thinking, the list of garnishes is endless!

16 Feb 2012 - 10:07pm


sounds delicious!!! and it's gluten free!!! it also seems to be stupid proof. LOL which is very good for me hahaha.

17 Feb 2012 - 3:39am


This looks good.

17 Feb 2012 - 4:09pm


Hehe I've never read outlander (though your blog has me greatly tempted) but I have to agree with Jen. Calling out your peach is a no no. By all means let us all feast on his coral knob lol. :)nnxoxonn- Eve


Glad to have you on my side, Eve! Now, let`s talk about why you haven`t read Outlander? Hmmm...

19 Feb 2012 - 5:45pm

Kiri W.

Wow, these are so, so pretty - very impressive, and it sounds delicious!

20 Feb 2012 - 1:44am


Wow. What a gorgeous, yummy idea. I'd eat these every day! Thanks Mr Willoughby :-)


We ate them everyday for almost a week, Deniz! Mr. Willoughby says you are most welcome.

21 Feb 2012 - 4:54pm

Lee Ann

Cheese is my (other) addiction!


LOL! All good for your health when taken in moderation...

23 Feb 2012 - 8:54pm


Oh yum! Bite sized cheese balls - genius =)

07 Dec 2012 - 12:19am


Theresa, nWhat do you think of substituting soft goat cheese for the cream cheese?? Obsessed with goat cheese lately, lol!nLove this page, btw!! Thanks so much!


Great idea, DJ! All goat cheese may be a little strong, but it depends on what you like...I might be tempted to use at least 1/4 cream cheese, but the final decision is up to you. :)

15 Dec 2012 - 12:48am

Laurie Brett P…

I made this as 3 - 1lb logs for a 3 night buffet. It was AMAZING!! My young "sous chef" (he's just 13) was in charge and after a few math issues he did a great job. This won many compliments and I even managed to take a slab home with me. Thanks for all the great recipes you create!

17 Apr 2014 - 10:25am

Linda Canfield

Recently had small balls of goat cheese rolled in powdered pralines , served with a salad DELISH!

15 Aug 2014 - 1:24am


hmm... maybe sun dried tomatoes?

14 Aug 2014 - 8:50pm


My family is not a fan of roasted red pepper... Any suggestions for substitutions? Love the recipes! Can't wait to try them! :)


It's the roasted pepper that makes it red...maybe you can find another red veggie you do like?

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