So there’s this movie out right now called The 40-Year Old Virgin. And yes, I have heard the jokes. “Hey Mark, is that your life story?” And I respond, “No! It’s not going to be my life story for 12 more years.” Now, while I have not seen the movie yet, I have read a certain character train of the titular character that I identify with. Seems that the 40-year old virgin is on a quest to create the perfect egg salad sandwich, and he spends most of his time looking for ingredients rather than looking for sexual gratification. And I can’t help but realize that I, too, am on a similar quest. Only, instead of the perfect egg salad sandwich, I seek to create the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
You can’t help but admire the grilled cheese sandwich. It’s so deceptively simple. A slice of cheese, two pieces of bread, and toss it in the frying pan. I’ve been searching to create the perfect grilled cheese sandwich ever since I started making them. No matter how hard I tried, my sandwiches would always be burned. Then, I discovered that I should turn the heat down. Now, I set my frying pan for medium, and it’s a perfect golden brown every time.
But then, I keep making these sandwiches in the frying pan. That’s not really a grilled cheese sandwich, then, but a fried cheese sandwich. As soon as I have the opportunity, I’m going to honestly grill a grilled cheese sandwich. At that means using the barbeque instead of the frying pan.
I got this particular brainstorm as I was watching the Food Channel. There is actually a cooking show dedicated completely to barbequing. The cook on this show was going on and on, “You can make anything on a barbeque!” For the first half of the episode, he made a pizza on a barbeque. In the second half, he soaked a plank of cedar in some water, threw that on the BBQ, placed a salmon on top and said, “In 10 minutes, I’ll have a perfect smoked salmon!” So, why not a grilled cheese sandwich?
But that’s not all. I have experimented with many different kinds of cheese. A grilled Swiss cheese sandwich is particularly satisfying. A grilled Mozzarella cheese sandwich is nice and gooey. I haven’t attempted blending cheeses yet, but that’s just the next logical step.
I still don’t understand why most fast food places don’t serve up grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh, wait. McDonald’s does now, as part of a Happy Meal. But still, how about a fast food restaurant that serves nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches? 6 different kinds of bread…a dozen cheeses…it’s a million dollar idea!
Or, just the ravings of a man who loves grilled cheese sandwiches so much that he decided to make a column out of it because he got home late from the oil patch.
Oh, well. Here’s hoping I find the perfect formula before I hit 40.