Above the Fold

A digital 'zine by Original Fuzz about creativity and making stuff.

★  Jun 15, 2024  ★

Mark's Mailbag: The Secret Ingredient

Featured photo for Mark's Mailbag: The Secret Ingredient

It's another edition of Mark's Mailbag! Read on as our resident advice guru, Mark Harrod, tackles your tough questions. We appreciate all questions! Throw yours into the pile for next month's issue here.



You've been talking this pimento cheese showdown up for a couple months now. What's going on? Is this like "The Big Chill" thing from last year where you just drone on and on about the same topic for months?
Norcross, GA

Appreciate the comments, Chad. And since you asked, we've all been refining our pimento cheese recipes in the time since my first mention of the planned video cooking series. Unfortunately, last week I suffered a rather gruesome injury while making a test batch; thus, further delaying the filming of "Cookin' Up Something Good" for the Pimento Challenge.  

You see, Chad, this is one of those situations where you've tried to be smart and ask a pointed question, but only now realize that you really shouldn't have gone about it that way. 'Cause you probably don't want to hear about this kitchen injury, do you Chad?

So, it's about 9:30 PM on a Monday night, and I'm grating a block of cheese with a collapsable box grater picked up from the clearance section at Target. Note - this may have been a situation where my predilection to buy household goods on steep discounts backfired on me.

I'm fuzzy on the physics of the incident, but suffice it to say the block of cheese slipped off of the grater while I was pressing down. The cheese slammed down to the cutting board and my hand didn't have a chance. I immediately assessed that there was a new, unsettlingly large hole in my right thumb and used my left hand to spike the grater and the rest of the in-progress cheese in the garbage. My dog was horrified by all parts of this, mostly, the waste of food.

I don't remember cursing, yelling, or otherwise making a big deal out the wound, but I find it cathartic, if not necessary, to immediately show kitchen gadgets that hurt you who is boss. I'll never see that thing again and I feel "grate" about it. I've been told I'm allowed only one pun per post. I can't roll them over to the next month, so I had to use it there. I am sorry.

Lots of gauze, generic bandages and hydrogen peroxide later, the bleeding had subsided enough to call a 24-hour nursing hotline to assess the damage. My initial words were, "It doesn't really hurt and it's not bleeding, but, there's uh...I'm calling because there's a hole in my thumb."

I'm sure everybody is glad you asked what was up with the pimento cheese, Chad. Have some patience. We'll get around to it after Target has another clearance sale on graters.


Mark is a former lawyer who lives in Nashville. If you see a guy walking a golden retriever in Germantown, feel free to say Hi. You should know, however, that there is another guy who looks a lot like Mark who also walks a golden retriever in Germantown so you might be saying Hi to the wrong dude. It has caused confusion in the past—including one particular incident where the other dude's wife hollered down the street at Mark several times before getting a closer look and realizing her mistake. Anyway, say Hi. You can also find him on the internet at basketofchips.com and @cmharrod.