- First you need the following: bread – preferably the honey wheat sesame from Baker’s Street in Chestnut Hill; cheese – not the Kraft singles junk that most likely would survive a nuclear bomb; butter – not margarine (obvious). Also mix in according to emotional relevance – memories of family, friends, and gooey delectableness.
You first entered my life when I was young. It was most likely during an afternoon with my grandmother and grandfather. You were carried to my smiling face with a glass of cold chocolate milk. Together, with an episode of Scooby Doo, we grew exponentially in friendship. You attained emotional significance that day. Every play date since then you have blessed me with your presence, I’m reminded of Saturdays in the spring, watching Tiger play in the Masters, or the Phillies playing the Yankees.
- Place pan in pan on stove, and heat butter in order to keep the sandwich from getting stuck on pan – as I learned on one of my first attempts. Heat butter at a low temperature so the butter serves its purpose and doesn’t burn away – Mom reminds me of this a lot. Once ingredients are set out and butter is in pan, find a good cooking CD. I recommend Tom Waits’ Closing Time or Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book.
Sundays have been your day for as long as I can remember. Sitting in mass, falling asleep during the homily and struggling not to sneeze only makes me want you even more. Car rides home are upbeat, with a whole day ahead of me, one that will be spent with soccer, the lawnmower, the pool, and, inevitably, you. Mom asks, “Can I get you guys something for lunch?” Peter and I smile, already having chosen our lunch hours in advance. “Grilled cheese would be great!”, we respond. Occasionally, ham will be thrown in, but most days, cheese does the trick by itself. Peter always eats two, while I stick with one. Soon enough, Mom’s making Dad and Liv grilled cheese. It’s more than a lunch, it’s a seminal family tradition, like “The Stable” – put up at Christmas every year, a gift from my father’s aunt – or trips down into Chester to watch the Union play – which means two hypercritical boys groan about lineups and tactics, while the rest of the family laughs at them. After all, if John Hackworth and Jim Curtin can coach the Union for four years, then I can deservedly complain for at least another 3 years, or until they make the playoffs. But, back to grilled cheese, a family tradition that’s a toast to consistent excellence.
- Place bread on stove. Use two pieces of cheese or maybe three if you are really trying to be spontaneous. Under special circumstances – after two o’clock on either Saturday or Sunday very early mornings – it is socially acceptable to add bacon. Just remember to be active the next day. I recommend racquetball. Place cheese on bread. Try not to get too distracted by the people around you and instead focus on the making of a masterpiece. Cook till slightly brown on bottom and then flip.
This year, you joined me at college. Except finally I was making you. Even though the quality is not that of my grandmother’s or mom’s – definitely owes to the cheese – I’m convinced that Kraft singles will be the currency (along with Spam) in a post-nuclear apocalyptic world (Trying to trade for some wood and kindling? Throw in some Kraft singles!) – very few things are as pleasurable as a late night grilled cheese (other things as pleasurable: sitting down, The Beach Boys, Saturday mornings, Christmas, and waking up on the first day of summer). Now, I can make you whenever – assuming someone has washed the dishes – and I basically treat you like currency, selling you to my roommates for games of FIFA and Coca Cola.
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