From the April 12 issues of The Times and The News-Star
(* Since this was published, I've been told you can order a grilled cheese at Sonic and for fifty cents more they will add two strips of bacon. For fifty cents! Whaaaaaaa.....!? I'm in!)
A reminder today of some of the most notable threesomes in history, trios that go together like baseball, fireworks and the Fourth of July.
Sports: Tinker to Evers to Chance. Palmer, Player and Nicklaus.
Yankees, money and more money.
Literature: Athos, Porthos and Aramis: “All for one, one for all.”
The film world: Larry, Curley and Mo, Charlie’s Angels, Don Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie and, on the Road to Somewhere, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.
Singing? How about The Kingston Trio, The Gatlin Brothers and The Three Guys Who Sing Opera so high that their underwear has to be about seven sizes too tight. (Small price to pay for being able to sing high and pretty.)
To those standards, we add springtime icons azalea, dogwood and the subject of today’s small essay, grilled cheese sandwiches. God made the first two, so it’s fair they get the most publicity. But the grilled cheese sandwich is a testament to what the hands of imperfect man can create when he puts his mind, his stomach and his taste buds to it.
Before anyone thinks I’m on drugs, the answer is No, I’m not saying that the grilled cheese sandwich is on par with “Slim Genie Jeggins,”
not in terms of ingenuity. What? You don’t know about Jeggins?, a new haberdashery phenomenon taking women’s bottom halves by storm, the pants that “fit like leggings but look like sexy skinny jeans”?
I know! I too am flummoxed. Who would think there would be such an invention? We’re talking about a material that looks like denim but has the give of a willow tree in a hurricane.
The commercial on television – it was on TV so it must be true – frightened me, me sitting there laughing myself through some late night episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” wondering if we’re out of Honey Nut Cheerios, wondering how tight that underwear must be that The Three Tenors wear, and all of a sudden these ladies you usually see at Super One or in car pool line are posing this way and that, proudly modeling “ultra comfortable jeans that smooth your bottom, legs, hips and thighs and show no panty lines.”
One of the wearers demonstrated the elasticity by pulling on the waistband. It went waaay out, like a rubber band or Silly Putty and not like denim at all. My first thought: this is the most marvelous invention since the Thermos. Now women can wear skinny jeans without feeling they are in either chain mail or a rigid denim body cast.
They even have pockets!
Would I buy a pair? No, but that is because I am not a girl and also because I cannot give up grilled cheese, which are butter, bread and cheese. Too many grilled cheese would show right through my Jeggings; that’s the only bad thing about Jeggings; they are not grilled cheese proof. Eat one and put on Jeggings and it looks like you’re hiding half a deli in your jeans. (It is wise to remember here that these pants are called Jeggings and not called Miracles.)
That gets us back to what we wanted to say, which was don’t forget to eat grilled cheese sandwiches this spring. If you have children, the overhead is low, prep time is minimal, results are mouth-watering.
The best method is simply to butter both sides of two pieces of bread, put them in a buttered griddle, put a slice of American cheese on each piece, then flip back and forth, two or three times, over the course of five or six minutes. You want melted cheese and somewhat crunchy bread. Serve with ice cold milk. Weep for joy.
Let this be your spring of experiment. Try it with sourdough bread for more crunch. And with olive bread. Try different cheeses. Try a crescent! Sneak in a tomato slice. Or salami. Even spinach.
I know at least one trio who plans to push the culinary edge of the grilled cheese envelope this spring: me, myself and I. Come on along.