My novel is coming out on Tuesday, there are a thousand words of a new novel sitting on my laptop waiting for me to get back to them, and the science fiction world is embroiled in a kerfuffle about the Hugo award. The impending debut of Howard Carter fills me with a certain gut level of anxiety that I've never encountered before, my work in progress is a bit 'in the weeds' at the moment, and the Hugo imbroglio just saddens me.
It's also National Grilled Cheese Day, so let's talk about that instead.
Grilled cheese sandwiches weren't a Thing in our house growing up, so I don't have nostalgic warm fuzzies attached to the idea of the thing. I'm not sure why, but mom just didn't feed us cheese sandwiches for some reason. But I have a deep and abiding, possibly genetic, yen for things involving cheese, so it was the first thing I ever learned to make on my own without help.
Two slices of wheat bread, margarine, and pre-wrapped sandwich slices of American cheese*. Heat control when cooking is learned behavior and I burned the crap out of the first three or four that I made without ever getting the filling to melt. I ate them anyway because we didn't waste food in my family.
By the fifth sandwich, I'd sussed out that "Back end of a Mercury Rocket" was not the correct setting for the stove if I wanted something edible to come out of the skillet and I was off and running on my first culinary adventure. Eventually I also worked out how to handle a sandwich that's been buttered on the outside pre-cooking.
I've since learned a thing or two about what does and does not count as 'cheese' and tested my wits against various cooking implements that were intended to deliver prime sandwiching to the huddled masses yearning to eat cheese. My favorite is the panini press, but I don't have room for one on the counter in our small kitchen, so I stick with the cast iron skillet by preference.
The best grilled cheese sandwich I've ever had was at Beecher's Cheese in Seattle, which is where that photo above was taken. That is the moment of bliss, caught with the lens of my wife's smartphone. Their mac & cheese is God's gift to humanity, by the way, but National Mac & Cheese Day isn't until July** so that's another post.
Though maybe we should contemplate how many National ________ Day's one country really needs to have. I don't know who comes up with this stuff, but if it gives me a ceremonial excuse to eat cheese, I'm down with it.
Oh, and Howard Carter Saves the World is coming out on Tuesday, so I declare April 14th to be National Giant Robots Day! Don't miss out on the giant robot event of the year. If you have a Kindle (or the free Kindle app) you can pre-order from Amazon now: http://tinyurl.com/HowardCarterSavesWorld or it will be available on Nook, Kobo, and other formats soon. (Amazon just makes it so easy to upload and do presales on eBooks.)
Now if you'll excuse me, there's a block of Beecher's cheese and a loaf of bread in the kitchen with my name on it.
* Which may or may not have actually contained any measurable amounts of actual cheese.
** Yes, really, July 14th apparently.