Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Deep [Foodie] Thoughts: Glorious Grilled Cheese

The classic grilled cheese sandwich is a simple equation. Wedge two slices of American cheese in between buttery white bread, toast until golden brown and devour. It is the kind of processed goodness that one never really outgrows. And who would want to?
Growing up, grilled cheese sandwiches were an especially big treat. Every once in a while, my mom would make them and their preparation was not without a certain degree of spectacle. She would rustle through the kitchen cabinets and pull out the griddle, while my brothers and I waited impatiently. Once the griddle was hot, she would step aside and watch as we performed our ritual test. We would dash to the sink, grab a handful of water and throw it on the griddle. The surface would steam and crackle as little droplets of water danced across the top, disappearing just as quickly as they had appeared. With the griddle prepped, we watched as pads of butter slid around, bubbling and browning as my mom arranged the bread and pulled the cellophane wrappers off of the cheese. Slowly, the soft white bread turned crisp and golden; the cheese creamy, melty and delicious. The crunch of the buttery bread against the knife signaled the lunching hour as we sat down to eat our sandwiches. It was mostly a quiet affair, aside from the intermittent "mmms'' that filled in for actual conversation.
Since then, we have all grown up quite a bit. Our tastes have broadened and I'm almost certain we're far better conversationalists now than when we were kids. Yet, if a grilled cheese happened to land on our plates, we would all dig in--quietly, of course. And we wouldn't want it any other way.

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