Some of my favorite bloggers not only are great storytellers, but they also share favorite recipes with everyone who visits their sites. “Lynz Real Cooking” has amazing ideas and Lynn writes candidly about her family life (she has 9 children) and the many years she spent with them in Saudi Arabia. Lynn has begun to share her recipes on YouTube. This is a real benefit for someone like me who needs to be taken by the hand and led step by step through the cooking process. I’m an avid follower. (Warning: There is a big, sharp, scary knife that shows up in some of her videos. Novices (like me) should really stick with a much duller cutting tool. Just sayin’) http://lynzrealcooking.wordpress.com
From Algarve, Portugal comes M’s blog, “Devaneios de Chocolate” (Dreaming of Chocolate). Along with her other site, “Backyard Tours – Finding Algarve”, she’s taught me much about the Portuguese Culture. And M provides all of the meals and desserts for the Algarve Tours. Obviously, she is an extremely busy woman. http://devaneiosdechocolate.wordpress.com
I’ve learned quite a bit about food from both of them, however, my own cooking skills need a lot of practice and improvement. So, this week I’ve decided to follow their example and attempt my own Food Post. In honor of them I call it
Devaneios de Real Grilled Cheese
This will not surprise those of you who know how strongly I feel about getting the grilled cheese recipe right. It is my own original recipe; the one I used to earn my first girl scout badge for cooking. Feel free to copy it or pin it to your Pinterest Board.
2 slices of the flattest, whitest bread you can buy
2 slices of pale, flat, yellow cheese – You can find it at deli counters everywhere. (Warning: Beware of the FAKE Cheese” Food” sold in the dairy section. Using FAKE Cheese “Food” will result in a sandwich of less-than-standard quality. Read your labels carefully! Make no concessions!)
1/2 stick of real butter – you can find this in the dairy section next to the FAKE Cheese “Food” already discussed above. (Warning: Beware of the “I Don’t Believe It’s Not Butter” FAKE Butter. It is NOT Butter. Using “I Don’t Believe It’s Not Butter” Fake Butter will result in a sandwich of less-than-standard quality. And you can believe me.)
While butter is warming, place two pieces of flat, white bread on a plate (preferably a plain white plate so as not to compete with the final sandwich presentation.)
Cover each piece of bread (crust on) with a slice of pale yellow, real cheese. Try to make sure the cheese does not droop over the sides of the crust as this will result in some of your cheese turning brown in the frying pan due to over melting to the point of actual burning.
By now you should hear a sizzling sound telling you it’s time to add in your separate sandwich parts. (Warning: do not put the 2 parts of your sandwich together yet, but lay them separately next to each other in the pan.This will insure that each side is completely slathered in real melted butter.)
With a spatula, carefully lift one of the sandwich parts and place it on top of the other. Make sure the cheese is facing down and melds with the cheese on the other piece of bread. Also, be careful that the two rounded edges and the two squared edges are matched up.
Check to see if the bread is browning by picking up one edge of the sandwich with a spatula and peeking at it every so often. (Warning: do not use your fingers for this step. Just sayin’)
Put something heavy (Warning: Do not use your good steam iron. Just sayin’) on top of the sandwich and press down, allowing some of the cheese to ooze out. This will result in a nice, flat, finished product easy for cutting and serving.
Remove from pan and serve on plain white plate.
Additional notes on cutting and serving:
I usually cut my sandwich into four square portions (see photo) but my husband Charley is more
obsessive traditional and likes his sliced on the diagonal. (see photo) You can further cut the diagonals to form four smaller triangles. (Cut to suit) Deeeelish!
I prefer a side dish of potato chips but you may use any of the following: pickles, assorted fruit, candy corn, kitty treats and salted crickets (the last two were added in at the request of Roxie and ZuZu who are also grilled cheese aficionados.)
Note: Marzipan, Marmite, Vegemite and any other
foreign substances condiments beginning with “mar” or ending in “ite” may be substituted in the British Isles.
I suggest pairing with seasonal drinks such as apple cider in the fall, lemonade in the summer and hot chocolate during the colder months.
The more “literary” segment of this post is dedicated to my friend Osyth who lives in le Cantal, France and once owned a Cheese Shop in the Berkshires (England, not New England, Berkshires) Her blog, “Half Baked in Paradise”, holds much joy and centers around food, travel, the French countryside and her wonderful musings. http://osyth.wordpress.com
Here is the cheese ditty I composed for “The Mystery of the Squeaking Birdhouse” which I wrote along with my young friend, Nolan. I’ll include it in the context of the story:
“What’s a mouse doing in a bird house, Gramma?” I asked.
“Well, the birds that used it have probably headed to Florida. Snowbirds, you might say. And the mouse has found itself a nice, warm nest to settle into for the winter, Nothin’ better than recycling an unused bird house, I always say.”
I had never heard her say that around me, but decided not to correct her, since she was spooning warm chocolate pudding into our bowls.
Again, I had never heard those words come out of her mouth. Or anyone else’s for that matter.
She began to sing a little tune that, obviously, she was making up on the spur of the moment. Across the table, my sister and brother were laughing and clapping and singing along.
A mouse in the house, a mouse in the house
Bring some cheese to the mouse in the house
Cheddar, Gouda, Brie and Blue, bring some cheese and the mouse will thank you
Stilton, Swiss, Havarti and Jack, you won’t find a tastier snack
Ricotta, Fontana, Mascarponeeee, sure goes good with macaroneee
Provolone, Cream and Gorgonzola, wash it down with Coca Cola
Cottage, Goat, Prosciutto and Feta, eat some cheese, you’ll feel much betta
Parmesan, Muenster, Mozzarella, we think cheese is really swella
Fortunately, the cheese song abruptly ended when my grandmother, a true cheese aficionado, couldn’t find a word that rhymed with Stinking Bishop….
Author’s note: Please feel free to pair these lyrics with any tune you think appropriate. Suggestions are welcome.
Roxie feels that I should be working on my brand and has suggested I create my own YouTube Video “Don’t Make Me Poison Your Food” starring her. (Warning: Roxie has a strange, vaguely sadistic sense of humor; potentially lethal like Lynn’s big, sharp scary knife. Just sayin’)