A painless but devastating dish, composed of nothing but copious amounts of cheese and bread (although it can be classed up with things like goose eggs and sexed up with things like pesto), grilled cheese sandwiches are one of the simplest pleasures a person can enjoy on this tilting orb of existence.
In Tel Aviv, they call it toast and it isn’t just for kids. I must admit that the intrepid Tel Avivians had it right. Grilled cheese can be fancy, universal and ageless. Here’s how to make it as a remedy for those times when you feel desperate and the dark is closing in:
With a tablespoon or so of room-temperature butter, eased gently onto a frying pan, greasing the way for some Jewish rye bread with American cheese so gloriously melted you can’t taste how processed it is, a person can relive those carefree years of their youth, before they realized that the wheel turns, taxes must be paid and your loved ones must all one day die. But grilled cheese though!
Man your position before the stove with the utmost care.
Press lightly but firmly with your trusty spatula onto the crispy surface of the bread. Feel that youthful energy, all your hopes and dreams which you thought were dead and gone, crushed and forgotten, rushing back to you.
Cook the bread to a buttery sheen of perfection. Take your time. You are busy becoming yourself again, the person your second grade teacher believed you could be.
I like to give it six minutes on each side before the flip. Let the unassailable truth of the grilled cheese sandwich ooze into your mouth. Don’t run from it.
Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!
Shira Feder is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org