Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Growing up, I hated cheese.  My hamburgers were plain, I didn't eat pizza (imagine!) and flatly refused cheesecake until an embarrassing age due to my misconstrued notion that it was, ironically, a cake of cheese.

These things have all changed now.  In so many ways that my own mother can't believe what I'll eat.  There was one hold-out over the years that I just couldn't get into... the Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  Now, let it be known that I have texture and taste issues.  This coming from the guy who didn't eat salad for years due to the perceived "dirt" taste inherent in lettuce.  In my mind, all I saw was two white pieces of Wonder bread with some gooey fake orange gunk dripping out the side.  I know... another misconception!

Late last year, we stopped off at Len & Helen's for a visit.  Lunch consisted of soup and, *cough* grilled cheese sandwiches.  To my dear Aunt Helen, I give complete and total credit for what happened next.  Knowing full-well that anything arriving from her kitchen would be worth trying out, I sat down, only slightly hesitantly.  The soup was fantastic.  Suzi can probably tell you ingredients, it was a lentil variety, and I ended up even having some for breakfast the next morning.  The sandwiches?  I had two, maybe three.  Amazing.  This? This is grilled cheese?  Rye bread, baby Swiss cheese and ham; oh yeah... totally blew all of that white bread thing out of the water.

Fast-forward to this week.  Bread is not taken for granted overseas and is usually full of grains and seeds and covered in crunchy crust.  You buy it daily, eat it and quickly go get more.  And more... and then your wife cranks out some mini-grilled cheese sliders with smoked edam and you think, "Man, I could live on this stuff."  But, then things get weirder when she makes some mean potato soup and you find yourself at the stove making grilled cheese sandwiches.

Could life be any better?  Obviously it can because the good folks in Wisconsin have a Grilled Cheese Academy that's gotta be rated E for Eat It with it's amazing pictures and recipes.  From the pulled-pork Biloxi to the chocolate drizzled Lisa Marie, it'll take your Wonder bread out on the town and paint it yellow... with butter.

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