It’s Mack again, taking a break from foot racing a pod of dolphins to answer your questions—and by “your questions” I mean “exactly one question.” Today’s question was selected solely by my illiterate falcon, as the literate one has been confined to bed rest after trying to read Noam Chomsky to impress a girl falcon and accidentally flying into a windmill.
Melanie Moat asks:
“Yo Mack daddy what’s your favorite typa grilled cheese?”
Melanie, this is an excellent question for many fascinating reasons, and I will describe all of them to you now. First, I don’t believe in the concept of “favorites.” My likes and dislikes exist on an ever-shifting spectrum. Today, I may love steak, but tomorrow, I could say, “Go to hell, steak. Badminton is where it’s at.” It’s impossible to know. I wake up a new Mack every morning, and it’s the best decision I’ve ever continuously made.
Second, “grilled cheese” is somewhat of a misnomer. You see, while grilled cheese is prepared on a stove top or flat grill, it’s technically fried, because the heat is transferred through butter or Pam or whatever you put on there. You don’t just throw a dry sandwich on a grill. Otherwise, it’s a panini. Or like a Philly cheese steak. Also, your kitchen is probably on fire.
Third, I don’t believe different types of grilled cheese exist. Sure, you can use different kinds of cheese. One person may prefer American cheese while someone else might like Swiss. But once you start cramming other ingredients in there like bacon and avocado, it’s not really a grilled cheese anymore, right? It’s just a bacon, avocado and melted cheese sandwich. This is a very nuanced topic, Melanie, and I thank you for provoking this discussion.
Today’s Mack’s Favorite Grilled Cheese is a grilled macaroni and cheese, which I call a Grilled Mack. (As I previously explained, my likes and dislikes change on a daily—sometimes hourly—basis, so the ingredients of a Grilled Mack are never the same. The main thing that makes a Grilled Mack a Grilled Mack is the fact that I’m the one eating it.) First, I boil a box of Kraft Deluxe macaroni, the kind that has the liquid cheese in the bag. Not that powdered peasant cheese. That cheese can catch a bus to downtown hell with steak and badminton. Then I usually have to boil a second box, because I almost always forget about the first one until hours later, when I stroll back into the kitchen to get a Tab out of the fridge and see that the water has completely evaporated and the smoke alarm is going off.
Once that second box of noodles is cooked, I get out a cast iron skillet that was a gift to me from Chris Columbus after we wrapped the first Home Alone. In the script, my character Kevin uses the skillet in one of his booby traps, when Daniel Stern’s character walks through a tripwire that launches the skillet into his face. They had a lot of trouble getting the catapult to work, because it’s like a ten-pound skillet, and I think a stuntman was killed so they ultimately cut the scene. I got to keep the skillet, though, and I’ve been making Grilled Macks on it ever since.
Then I get two slices of bread and polish them up on both sides with spreadable butter. (Regular butter is too hard and tears the bread, and then no one gets a Grilled Mack.) I cut open the bag of Kraft Deluxe cheese and use it to write the word “CHEESE” on the inside of both pieces, then lightly stack them together in the traditional sandwich shape and toss that bad boy into the skillet. The macaroni I throw in the garbage, or, if it’s close to a holiday or a birthday, I wrap it up in baggies to give away as gifts. And that’s how you make a Grilled Mack, although by the time you read this, that will no longer be true.
That’s all the time I have right now, as I need to keep my heart rate up because sharks can sense weakness. Please leave me your questions here in the comments or on Twitter @bunnyearsweb with the hashtag #AskMack, and I guarantee there is a marginal possibility I might actually read them.
Dictated into an old boombox I got at a rummage sale while jogging across the Pacific Ocean in a plastic bubble. Boombox recovered and transcribed by Tom Reimann.
IMAGES: John Shearer/Getty Images for DCP (used with permission)