With the wind whipping up and the temperature dropping, the lunch special of a grilled cheese and soup at a local eatery seemed the only choice. The delicious simplicity of this version, made with Clothbound Cabot Cheddar and some kind of nutty, hearty bread (I hate to sound like I’m complaining, but you can’t throw a rock in my neighborhood without hitting a specialty cheese shop) was a welcome-to-fall smack in the face, a reminder of the beauty of the humble grilled cheese sandwich.
The Three Points cooks have shared many a grilled cheese over the years. It’s long been our go-to order for diner lunches and one cold winter evening, when none of us were in the mood to cook or wander very far, we decided to make the most extravagant, glorious grilled cheese sandwiches we could come up with, by hitting the gourmet shop down the block.
Alas, there’s no recipe to share, because we never could quite remember what combination of ridiculously expensive French cheese we used that evening. And no one really needs a new grilled cheese recipe; the possible combinations are mostly a matter of imagination. But the one thing we remember quite clearly is that Kate was in charge of the grilling. No one makes a grilled cheese sandwich with the attention and love Kate does. Her careful application of cheese and butter, slow cooking, patient timing and watchful application of heat produces an oozy, melty, toasty sandwich that’s the epitome of a perfect grilled cheese. It doesn’t matter whether she’s using Velveeta or a fine-aged cheddar.
Maybe Kate’s inordinate devotion to cheese (and butter) plays a hand. Maybe it’s just the idea that even a grilled cheese sandwich deserves respect. But the real difference, as she says, is that they’re made with love. And isn’t that what the success of any great recipe is really about?