To say that it’s been a while since I posted would an understatement. In fact, I don’t think I’ve done one single grilled cheese post since I’ve turned the ole’ grand age of 28. Yeah, I’m 28. Yeah, that DOES mean I’m almost 30. And well, yeah, it feels super weird to realize that I’m not going to be in my 20s forever. I don’t mind it though. As I’m looking up the 30s under 30 list, daydreaming of getting in it before the time runs out, I’ve decided that I actually really like being almost-30… It’s like this weird age where all of a sudden people take you more seriously and you actually start feeling like a real live worthwhile human being. Continue reading
Have you ever seen the movie Eyes Wide Shut? No? Yeah, me neither. But from what I’ve heard, I know that it’s super weird, extremely dark, completely creepy, and totally confusing, but also inexplicably awesome. And the craziest part is, I think I just got as close to being in that movie as I’ve ever been before without joining a cult.
Last week I went to see Sleep No More, an insane interactive and immersive play based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I’m not going to pretend that I’m a Shakespeare fan – let’s face it I was totally a slacker in high school so I never read the play but I can tell you that this version is totally unlike anything you’ve ever seen/read/been to before – there are no seats, everyone but the actors are hidden behind these horrifying masks, and you’re basically running around a giant building the whole time. Seriously, from the moment you walk into The McKittrick Hotel, a 5-6 floor labyrinth of creepily decorated rooms, you’re taken to a different world. Loud, haunting parlor music warbles in and out of tune while you run through dimly lit rooms which have different acts going on. For example, there’s a scary moonlit maze made of barren trees, a psychiatric ward full of bloody children’s bathtubs and messed up beds, and among others – a ballroom that screams “you’re about to get murdered like in the shining and you’re going to enjoy it”.
They say fortune favors the bold at this Punchdrunk production, so you’re urged to be adventurous. Of course after my special edible kicked in, I got obsessed with that idea and went all out. In one freaky baby’s bedroom, I found a teddy bear that had the stuffing coming out. Not really sure of what I was doing, I reached my hand inside the plush and what did I find? ONE SINGLE BLOODY TOOTH. So bizarre right?! I know. I was completely freaked out but after that, things just got even more weird. I got a one-on-one with one of the actresses who pulled me into a hidden room with newspapers taped to the walls, did a monologue about the saddest story there ever was, and fed me tea from a cup while she doted the tears out of my eyes and brushed my hair. As she was talking, the music that was going on outside the room synced up perfectly with her story which made me feel like I was tripping balls – I was not though and if I can give you one word of advice – DON’T DO IT. I think you’d die.
Anyways, I don’t want to give any more away but if you’re in NYC you’ve gotta see this. They’ve been saying that it’s going to close down for months now, but it sells out every night so I think it’ll be going on much longer than that. And because I had such a weird night, I figured that I’d share a super weird grilled cheese to keep the theme going… So here we go, blow your mind with this mortadella, pickled blueberry, Wisconsin’s Emmi Roth fontina, popcorn, pickled red onions, and white bread.
Lez get weird with these things:
– 1/2 cup of grated fontina from Emmi Roth
– 1 thick slice of mortadella
– 1 tbs of pickled blueberries
– 1 tbs of pickled red onions
– a handful of popcorn
– 2 slices of white bread
– 2 pats of salted butter
It’s almost halfway through my Wisconsin Cheese Month feature so this special sammy spotlights Emmi Roth’s insanely delicious fontina. It’s creamy, buttery, and melts like my heart after I met the singer of Saves the Day when I was 16 years old. Deep sigh.
To begin, pile on half the cheese onto one slice of bread.
Then add some pickled red onions – these are super simple to make and can be kept in the fridge for like a week or two. Just finely dice some red onion, add equal parts sugar and salt and then some red wine vinegar. Let sit for an hour or two and then use. Seal when you’re done and keep refrigerated!
Now it’s time for the blueberries! Generously add some of these sweet and tart berries and don’t forget to throw a few back. Even though blueberries already have that sort of taste profile, the pickling liquid just exemplifies the sweet and tart nature of these blue balls (heheheheeheh yeah, i’m still in 9th grade).
I made these just by adding them to some sweet, bread and butter type pickling liquid that I whipped up. But if you don’t feel like going all out, you could just add the blueberries to a preexisting pickle jar if you have one in the fridge.
Now add the mortadella and the rest of the cheese.
When I had originally made this sandwich, I really wanted it to have fancy ass bologna, but then I found out that it doesn’t really exist and if it does – it’s probably just called mortadella. So yeah, that’s how this happened. It’s cray!
ALMOST DONE! Add the other piece of bread and butter the sandwich up. Give it a little kiss.
Now over medium high, grill the sandwich until it starts to melt and gets all golden and buttery on both sides.
Once you notice that the cheese looks like something you might want to drizzle over your naked body, gently take off the top piece of bread and add the popcorn – this gives it a nice unexpected airy crunch and really lightens up the sandwich.
Let it sit for a few minutes before you cut it up and then chow down immediately. I’d probably recommend drinking a grape soda with this sandwich because that’s what i feel like doing, OK!?
So this is totally one of the strangest GCs I’ve made in a while and I love it! It’s kind of like the Kanye and Lindsay Lohan type crazy but without the baggage. It’s good though so step out of your typical grilled cheese comfort zone and give it a try! Peace out babies.
I know I didn’t really mention it but when I went to visit Tallahassee last week, I also went to see my Grandma who has Alzheimer’s and is living in an assisted living facility down there.
During college, I spent a lot of time with my Grandparents; from Sunday meals to running errands around town. But after my Poppy died during my sophomore year, I sort of became of my Meme’s caretaker. It got hard after he passed. They had been married for almost 60 years, and it seemed as if her mind couldn’t really deal with it. She began to forget things and the doctor told us that she was displaying early signs of Dementia. At first we laughed about her using sugar instead of salt in her tomato gravy and rice, but it got to the point where she needed some serious help and unfortunately, I was planning on moving to New York for grad school that same summer. The decision to leave was really hard, but luckily, I had my amazing uncle there to help as much as he could. After I left, the inevitable happened, the disease got a hold of her and was she diagnosed with Alz.
I’m not going to put on a front and say it was lovely and wonderful seeing her last week because it wasn’t. It was really, really, really freaking hard. I mean, luckily, she still remembers all of us, but it’s not the same. She’s not really there and she knows it. It’s tough seeing her like that. And because of it, I wanted to make a post to celebrate my Meme by commemorating her amazing hospitality and love. This little snack was something that she’d whip up, pop in the oven, and then forget about it for the next few minutes while she caught up with me. It was also perfect for times when I brought over my starving college friends, because she could fill a whole baking sheet and not have to tend to the frying pan like with traditional grilled cheese sandwiches. Honestly, she’s the best, you’d love her…even when she gets a little sassy…and she does get a little sassy.
As I mentioned before, those iconic ingredients are:
– 2 slices of lite boule or some white bread
– 1/2 cup of shredded fontina
– 1 giant beefsteak tomato slice
– 1 tbsp of herbed butter
(combine 1 tbsp salted butter with 1/2 tsp herbs
My entire family is obsessed with butter. I’m not kidding, not even a little bit. I once saw teeth marks in a tub of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter. Who does that?? I still think it was my Dad but he’ll never fess up. But yeah, my mom always bought that kind because if we had the good stuff in our fridge, it would be devoured, along with every single piece of bread or cracker in the house. But before I gross you out any longer…
To begin, go ahead and butter your bread with some delicious herbed butter. Feel free to mix up with anything you’d like; garlic or thyme-infused butter would work wonderfully.
During the next step, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 450°. Then put the bread, butter side down, onto a baking sheet. Then sprinkle it with fontina cheese. My Meme always used
government cheese cheddar but I just did cheddar in last week’s post so I wanted to switch it up.
Next, you’ll want a nice thick slice of tomato to lay down right in the middle of the sandwich. Sometimes Meme would salt and pepper it, but I never knew when to do that so I left it out. Whenever I tried , it would always come out too salty. I guess she just had some sort of magic touch.
When it’s all built, go ahead and place the baking sheet on the middle rack for about six and a half minutes. This will give you ample time to pour someone a sweet tea and bring them a cookie.*
And then when it’s all bubbly and golden, take it out and fold the two pieces together to make a sandwich.
Give it a second to rest because if you cut it right away, the tomato will slip out and burn your chin. I’m speaking from experience, of course.
I know that Meme will probably never see this because I don’t think she even knows what the internet is, but at least I can share it with all of you. I know Alz can be hard, but it’s best to treasure the good times and this sandwich definitely helps me do that. It reminds me of being a little kid and sitting in her kitchen while she helped me with ALL of my problems. As I ate this after I shot it, I got a little teary eyed because I wish I could have been eating it with her. I know she probably feels the same way.
And if you’re feeling generous, th
e Alzheimer’s Assocation is a wonderful not-for-profit group that would love your help to keep fighting the memory loss battle. And for those of you who are struggling with the same thing, stay strong and keep loving! Hopefully there will be a cure soon.