The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe
When I was a boy, I lived on a farm. Farm life was tough, but you quickly learned the ways of the world. I remember my grandfather took me to one of the pens, I must have been about 5 or 6, and he showed me one of the sick mares. He explained how he was draining the pus from a boil, and how the mare became ill. I remember how strong he was, with such a steady hand. Just calming the poor creature and one quick slice, pus oozing out.
My grandfather was a huge influence on me during those times. I would often try to see if I could beat him down to the fields, a small one-sided game I’m not even sure he knew we were playing. To be honest, I’m not sure he ever actually slept, as he worked long past my bedtime, and no matter how early I woke up, he would always be hard at work, already halfway through a fence repair or whatever he was working on that day. I never knew my grandmother, and I think her passing really got to him. He buried himself in work so he wouldn’t have to cope with the loss. Or maybe working was his way of coping.
It was autumn just after what had to have been my 9th birthday when I looked out the window to where I’d typically see my grandfather fixing equipment, but that day he wasn’t there. I think that was the first time I didn’t see him working, and I was honestly confused. I walked outside and spotted him sitting on the log of an old felled tree, out of breath and drenched in sweat. He saw me and called “Ronnie, come on over here for a minute.” Ronald was my fathers’ name; he was at work off in the city.
I went over as he asked and he told me “Now, I know she doesn’t want you to know this, but your ma, she is getting sick.” I audibly gasped. Was my mom sick? Why didn’t she tell me? He continued “I don’t think she is going to make it through this one, Ronnie. I want you to go in there and tell her that you are going to make something of yourself and that she doesn’t need to worry. Promise her that you’ll do better than we did. We did what was right for us, but you are the greatest accomplishment we’ve ever had. Your ma thinks that if she goes, I’m going to force you into this life, and I don’t want her to worry about that anymore. You understand son?”
I nodded, confused. “Grandpa, you know who I am, right?” He looked at me, and his face quickly contorted into a gruesome shape. He looked like he had just been stabbed. I shouted “Grandpa, are you ok? What can I do to help?” but he fell down and started gasping and clawing at his chest and throat. I didn’t know what to do, so I ran into the house to call my dad at work, but before I left grandpa started whimpering “Ronnie, grab the knife” so in a panic I ran towards the shed and grabbed the knife.
I had no idea what he wanted the knife for, but I was only 9, and grandpa knew everything. I returned as fast as I could, “Grandpa, here’s the knife!” I said out of breath as I ran up. But he no longer needed it. I slumped down and cried at his feet, his body leaning against that old log.
I should have been faster, or smarter, or anything. I kept replaying the events in my head, trying to figure out what I did wrong. My mom made it home from work first and saw my grandfather and me. She rushed over and hugged me and asked if I was OK. Then she called dad and told him to come home. That night as dad was calling the funeral homes and making arrangements, mom made me a grilled cheese. Here’s that recipe:
- Two pieces of white bread
- 1 tablespoon of butter cut into thirds
- 2 slices of American cheese
Set your pan to medium high heat till it is nice and warm.
Put your first piece of butter into the pan till it melts, and add both slices of bread.
Spin the bread around the pan for a bit till you can feel the warmth of the pan through the bread and flip both pieces
Set both pieces of cheese on one piece of bread, so they overlap, and then put the other slice of bread on it, toasted side in.
Put your second piece of butter in the pan and place your sandwich on it, moving it around to ensure maximum coverage.
After about a minute or so, it should be golden brown, flip the sandwich.
Add the final piece of butter and put the last untoasted side in the melted butter pool, moving the sandwich around again.
After about a minute, the sandwich should be done with a nice crunchy golden texture on both sides, and ooey gooey cheese in the middle.
Move to a plate and cut on a diagonal line.