Grilled Cheese and Other Macabre Tales

Subject: Grilled Cheese
Date: 5/15/01 6:06 PM
To: Mari, Simone, Heidi, Shanon, Ciam, Mae

I can never eat just one grilled cheese sandwich (unless I am at a restaurant, where you only get one without going through the whole place-your-order/payment rigamarole again (and even then I am tempted)). You see, a grilled cheese sandwich really isn't a lot of food. And I happen to like them quite a bit (if you don't, well don't worry about it - you may read this wonderful witty eArticle anyway). As a matter of fact I am making my second grilled cheese sandwich of the evening out of *bread heels* right this very moment (who wants to place bets on whether I burn it because I am so wrapped up in writing all about it for LLeP? And if I do, who wants to place secondary bets on whether I am grief stricken and angry enough to hurl the charred remnant on the floor and stomp on it? (Cindy did this once, it could be catching...)).

As I said, I can never eat only one of the crunchy buttery little buggers. But I never remember that until after I have eaten the first one, so I wind up doing almost as much work for my second at home grilled cheese as I would at a restaurant. I dutifully put away the cheese and bread, clean the counter, and rinse the cheese slicer while the initial implement of fate is frying with its first tentative crackles. Then when it is done and out of the pan onto my lucky little plate, I turn off the stove (this is a big faux pas with *our* stove, which takes at least five minutes to change temperature (and I mean five minutes for every stove knob click that you turn it!)).

So there I can be found licking the last flavourful crumbs off the plate, as I realize that I have to have another one. It is a taste bud imperative! And so I kick myself for not having learned the lesson yet. I have to get all the ingredients back out, completely wash the cheese slicer because now it is only half clean, and somehow the addition of a little water to the cheese that clung to the slicer is less than appealing. And of course I have to turn the stove back on and wait an eternity of "damn shit of a stove - tomorrow we are GOING to buy a new one, a *better* stove, a really *nice* stove, a cooks-perfect-grilled-cheese-in-less-than-three-minutes-including-burner-warmup-time stove!" before I can finally hear the pleasant crispy frizzly sounds of my second (and even better of course!) grilled cheese sandwich on its delightful way into my life.

Tonight I had to endure a particularly ironic twist of fate during the now familiar "oh no, I have to have *another* one - *when* will I learn?" episode. I was tidying up after the first sandwich was safely consigned to the flames (med-lo, and no actual flames - it is one of those ceramic top stoves invented by some engineer freak of nature who never cooked a three-dish last-minute I-NEED-IT-HOT-NOW meal in his or her life (we at LLeP support sexual equality in all matters (except for the fact that girls are better - but the less said there the better)) .. ah for a nice instant gratification gas stove - maybe tomorrow...). The cheddar cheese had come out of a ziplock baggie that was no doubt chosen when the cheese had already diminished considerably in size from prior grilled cheese depredations. The new cheddar cheese (Tillamook junior baby loaf - Hanna's orders) was considerably larger (this being one of the periodic two cheese loaf crossover sandwiches, which link us to nature's neverending cycles of death and rebirth). It took a great deal of effort and finagling to get it into the zip lock baggie (hey, this eArticle is getting downright naughty!). As I was struggling to get the cheese in the bag, I was mentally commenting on what a struggle it would be to get it back out again.

Need I say more? Yes, of course I need! A few minutes later, with the tantalizing flavour of the first sandwich dragging me willy nilly into the construction of the second, I pull the cheese out of the refrigerator, snug in its tight fitting plastic overcoat. And I realize that I am going to have to struggle to get it back out again.

There is a lesson in all this, but I think that it will take time to crystalize for me. Perhaps you, the esteemed reader will arrive at that consciousness raising moment before me, because I am still too close to it all. But I am sure it has to do with death and rebirth and condoms.

love love love,