Tuesday, December 13, 2016

99. An Ode to the Grilled Cheese Sandwich
The menu read Four cheeses on brioche bread served with imported sea salt brine pickles.  ‘That’s like putting a fancy spoiler on a Ford Focus, I thought.  They don’t get grilled cheese.  Fancy contradicts the raison d'etre of the sandwich and the car: basic food, basic transportation  And the thought of a goat-camembert-gouda-brie sandwich leads to using pretentious phrases like ‘raison d'etre’ instead of ‘main purpose.’

Chefs don’t make grilled cheese sandwiches, except at home, when everyone’s asleep. Cooks make grilled cheese.  Older sisters make grilled cheese, and because they do, you forgive them for hogging the bathroom, getting the biggest bedroom, and picking a chick flick for family movie night. You may even be grateful for them.

Fathers make grilled cheese, flipping it onto your plate from three feet above your head and smiling as you dodge the molten cheese droplets flying off the edges. You and your siblings laugh as your mother pretends to be annoyed.  Cheese can bind a family together.

Mothers make grilled cheese better than anyone.  They just do.

If you’ve grown up on grilled cheese, you smile when make it, savoring the memories.

Good cooks serve grilled cheese right from the pan.  They never makea stack of sandwiches, sitting on a plate while the cheese congeals.  The cook makes them two or three at a time, asking ‘can you eat another?’  A real grilled cheese cook eats last. That’s how you know they love you.

Tomatoes? Yes but only late in the summer when they come from somebody’s garden, in a shopping bag left on your porch next to another one containing 40 lbs. of zucchini.  (The vegetables remind you there’s still good neighbors.)  In the winter, grilled cheese is eaten with tomato soup, preferably Campbell’s.  

Ham?  Sliced ham and cheese is an entirely different meal.  If you’re going to use chipped ham, better to make a frizzle burger - another sandwich to be grateful for.

Why the long post? Because today I will  take time to dwell on simple pleasures.

Life on Life's Terms III (c) 2016 by Ken Montrose

Life on Life's Terms III is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.

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