300 Word Story: How to Burn Grilled Cheese

Warm house, cold toes, squinty eyes and a runny nose.

What is the best cure for these ailments? Fuzzy slippers, hot tomato soup and some grilled cheese.

Ahhhh, tomato soup and grilled cheese, the simplest feel-good food, right?

Well, on one chilly fall morning I woke up with a tomato-soup-and-grilled-cheese hunger pang. So, I stumbled to the kitchen in my boyfriend’s house and got out the box-oh-tomato soup, the bag of white bread, four Kraft American singles and a stick of Parkay butter.

Before we go any further, let me just tell you that the process that I am about to explain seems like the simplest of challenges, but it became a kitchen-type disaster.

I started with the tomato soup, because even my two-year-old cousin couldn’t mess up tomato soup. I just simply took the soup pot out, poured in the soup and turned on the heat.

As it started to heat up, I began the task of creating the main course of this meal: the grilled cheese. I buttered the bread and dropped one slice — butter side down — into the hot, small round low pan. I opened up a piece of Kraft American singles cheese (with your own grilled cheese creations, feel free to experiment with your cheese selection) and then added on the next piece of bread, butter side up.

After a few minutes of letting the grilled cheese sit I went to flip the grilled deliciousness. There was only one problem; it was stuck to the bottom of the pan — bad. So I used the plastic spatula and scraped until the bread loosened and I flipped the sandwich over. Then I waited a while — stirring the tomato soup to pass the time — only to endure the scraping and flipping process again. This happened three more times before I decided that I had tortured this grilled cheese more than enough.

The process was the same with the second grilled cheese. During a repeat of destruction, my boyfriend’s mother came in with groceries. When she saw my valiant efforts, she just laughed and decided to teach me the proper way to make grilled cheese.

I took off the mutilated second grilled cheese, moved the heated tomato soup off of the heat and left it to the side to cool while I attempted to learn the ways of the cheese grilling with the last two grilled cheeses.

First I was to switch pans. Apparently the small round one wasn’t correct for grilled cheese making. She handed me a large square pan with low edges, apparently this is a “grilling pan.” Makes sense that this would be the proper pan for making the grilled cheese. I had four pieces of bread buttered and ready to go, but for the third attempt my boyfriend showed me the proper way.

Second, after having the right pan, was to set the sandwich down on the hot surface and let it sit for a minute or so, then slide the sandwich so that it doesn’t stick to the surface.

Third, flipping the grilled cheese more than once is a “no-no.” After sliding the grilled cheese around, it is proper to check the bottom buttered side by lifting up the edge. When the bottom is golden brown, flipping is required. It is the same with the second side and the sandwich will be done to perfection.

I executed this form perfectly on the final grilled cheese.

I poured the perfectly warm soup into two bowls and placed the two horrifically deformed grilled cheese onto my plate and the two perfectly done grilled cheeses onto my boyfriends plate. As we sat and enjoyed our feel-good meal — avoiding the burnt pieces — I couldn’t help but laugh at my failed attempts.

So on those cold mornings when the only thing on one’s mind is tomato soup and grilled cheese remember these steps:

*   Use the correct pan
*   Don’t flip more than once
*   Set the grilled cheese down and let it rest then slide to avoid sticking

Enjoy those blustery days or nights and grill your cheese right.