Posts Tagged ‘food/drink’

As a product of the No Color Collar Class, I believe I can safely say that America’s kids prefer a Grilled Cheese Sandwich to any other sandwich 10 to 1. And when I say kids, I mean real kids as well as those of us who have never grown up.

I have no statistics to back me up. I’m relying on anecdotal evidence. Consider:

·        Have you ever been in a family restaurant that didn’t have a grilled cheese sandwich on a separate kid’s menu?

·        Think about how often you’ve looked over a menu and finally said, “I’ll have a grilled cheese.” You don’t have to add “sandwich.” Everyone knows what grilled cheese means without further elaboration.

·        Do you remember the many times your mom or your wife said, “We’re having grilled cheese tonight” and everyone cheered?

·        Or, you married men or men in a relationship, how about those rare occasions you were alone in the house and fixing a late supper was solely on your shoulders.  You fiddled around with a couple of slices of bread and a piece of cheese until you became disgusted and headed for Mom’s Eats (why isn’t there a Dad’s Eats?) for a grilled cheese.

·        And women, isn’t it great to be alone on a cold winter’s evening, all snuggled up on the couch in front of the TV with a steaming hot eggnog in hand and a grilled cheese on a platter on the couch next to you while you watch Viggo Mortensen bare his chest for the benefit of Diane Lane?

·        Or the time you first heard Dad utter a profanity? He pulled the old tan 78 Ford Fairmont 4-dr family sedan into the drive-thru lane and ordered a grilled cheese. “Shit!” he muttered when the attendant said, “Sorry, Sir, we’re temporarily out of cheese. Please come back again sometime.”

Why is grilled cheese so popular? My guess is that the answer lies in the American preference for simplicity. We’re a Gulp and Go society. We don’t like to sit around and suffer through the torture of waiting for the next course in a seven course dinner.

And there really isn’t a meal much simpler and appealing to our fast-paced life styles than a grilled cheese. Two slices of bread and a slice of cheese. Slap the cheese between the two slices of bread and then pop it on the grill, turning it occasionally to get the bread evenly brown. Finally, squashing it a few times with a spatula to meld the melted cheese and the bread. Squashing also tends to push a little oil or grease into the bread, thus enhancing an otherwise bland taste. Serve it with or without whatever. Occam’s Razor in action.

My personal preference is to avoid adding anything to the basic ingredients. No ham, no tomato, no lettuce, nothing. When we add a slice of ham, for example, we have a grilled cheese and ham, not a grilled cheese. If you like additional ingredients, fine and dandy. It’s our individual taste preferences that count.

Just remember, if you add other items, you aren’t, technically speaking, eating a grilled cheese. Calling it a grilled cheese muddies the waters of gastronomical purity and evokes professional sensitivity among short-order cooks.

Moreover, serving a kid a sandwich of bread, cheese, tomato, pickle, and jalapenos, and calling it a grilled cheese is fine if you don’t mind a kicking, screaming, head-pounding temper tantrum.

Okay, I’m off to a little café I stumbled across on 24th Street near Vicksburg in San Francisco for a grilled cheese. And I mean Grilled Cheese with a capital G C.


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My Ten Resolutions for Twenty Ten

1. Use the phrase Twenty Ten as often as possible. I like the sight and sound of it when I say it out loud.

2. Continue posting sporadically because my mind is still too screwed up for regularity.

3. Neither write nor say negatives about people. My old aunt used to tell me, “Unless you can say something good about others, keep quiet.” A rule that is hard to follow in every instance, but worth the effort.

4. Read more books about cowboys.

5. Write at least one positive post about Sarah Palin. I may have to hire a ghost writer for this one. But, then, she has nice legs.

6. Figure out how much detergent to pour in the washing machine to avoid flooding the floor of the laundry room with suds.

7. Maybe hire a housekeeper. I say maybe because this is still a little bit iffy. A cook would be better. I’m sick and tired of cold Vienna Sausage.

8. Tell my neighbor, who is a police officer, how much I appreciate her help and thoughtfulness after my wife’s passing.

9. Sell my house so I can move on; perhaps find a new life somewhere. This will be very difficult, but I need to try.

10. Maybe teach again. Another hard goal to achieve. I have lost patience with students who perceive college as a place of encounter rather than as an arena for learning.

Okey, dokey. I’ve shown you mine. Now show me yours.

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