Friday, April 18, 2008

April is Grilled Cheese Month

Who knew? April is National Grilled Cheese Month. There is even a grilled cheese blog. In humble recognition of this great celebration, here is a guest post by my dear friend at Bouclee. Don't you want to come to my house? Yummmmmmmmm.

Things I learned from Nora #2

As I said in my last guest post, Nora has taught me many things. She has already told you a lot about herself here, but you probably don’t know that she makes the best grilled-cheese sandwiches in the universe… (She’s humble like that).

Now, don’t think that I didn’t know about grilled-cheese sandwiches… In our house, they were for days when the fridge was empty (which didn’t happen often) or when my parents were busy and us kids had to fend for ourselves (like the Wimbledon finals). They were a last resort. My mother kept some Kraft Singles in the fridge for those occasions. Kraft Singles were for grilled-cheese sandwiches and cheeseburgers on the grill in the summer. You can imagine it was a good thing they kept for a long time… Later, my grilled-cheese sandwich experience extended to what I could find in hospital cafeterias. Not the height of gastronomy…

Nora’s grilled-cheese sandwiches are in another league entirely. I hope she forgives me for giving away her secrets, but here are a few crucial elements to making the best grilled-cheese sandwich that I learned from her:

  1. Start with good cheese…

Some good strong cheddar, sliced about 1/8” thick, is perfect. I suspect other cheeses might work well too.

  1. A cast iron pan

Nora gave me one of those for my birthday, so I can make my own now… It has to do with heat distribution, I think.

  1. A deep pot lid to cover the sandwich

The lid has to be deep enough to cover the sandwich without smooshing it. Keeping the heat low and the lid on enables the cheese to melt while the bread stays golden.

  1. People to share it with…

I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. Part of the reason I like Nora’s sandwiches so much is that it makes me feel like I’m part of their family life... Well, I won’t have that in my kitchen with my new cast iron pan when I make my own sandwiches. But every time, I’ll think of Nora, Jeff, and their little Bubba and our Saturday lunches. (Word of advice: don’t try to give Bubba a regular piece of bread when he can have some grilled cheese goodness, he knows the difference…with good reason too!)

8 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My husband includes ham and sliced tomato. Yum!

Vanessa said...

This sounds great, especially the nice strong cheddar!

MamaBird said...

Hmmm, must try with pot lid. I usually snatch them off the heat when the bread's just right and nuke em to get the cheese melty. This! This is what I have been missing...

Alex Elliot said...

I love grilled cheese sandwiches, but I can't make them without burning them. I'm just too impatient. Glad you're back.

Family Adventure said...

Yum, yum, yum. Those pictures are to die for, too.

Just came back from Paris, where they made grilled cheese with goat cheese. I highly recommend it if you ever need a change from the strong cheddar.

Although - from the looks of it, I'm not sure you ever will :)

Heidi

Mrs. G. said...

I love your new header photo!

All I need with that sandwich is a cup of canned tomato soup and I'm good to go.

TEOM said...

Mrs. G stole my idea!

KTinDC said...

I am sending all my melty cheesy goodness thoughts your way today. I almost made a grilled cheese sandwich today with some fine mature English cheddar. But then I remembered 1) I only have low fat cheddar, and that sucks, and 2) my hob is on the blink (as in, it's off or it's nuclear), and the only thing more sad than no grilled cheese is a ruined grilled cheese. When do I do my guest post about how you taught me to make guacamole? :) I've thought about you all day and send you big squeezes. Also, you don't mind if I chew on those chubby legs in the new header photo, do you?
Love ya,
katiekatie