Here in these parts, we’re all about offbeat observances and holidays, and today’s is no exception. It’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day 2023. Sometimes it’s called National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day 2023, but it hasn’t been made official by whatever Powers that Be, so it’s technically Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day 2023.
I was actually today years old when I first heard that this was even a thing.
I used to eat grilled cheese sandwiches back in middle school, when I first discovered it was even a thing you could have. My mom didn’t cook, so if it didn’t come from a box, a restaurant, or the super-nasty deli at the store that was my mom’s end-all/be-all, it wasn’t worth having, and it wasn’t worth getting. McDonald’s and Burger King didn’t sell em, and neither did any of the other restaurants on my mom’s takeout merry-go-round from hell.
Besides, stuff like grilled cheese sandwiches were something you buy, so it was dead to me.
Until 6th grade. Back then, I was going through a really shitty time in my life, and nobody wanted to hear it. For awhile, I’d come home from school, go to the kitchen, and make a few grilled cheese sandwiches. I’d have em while I watched my favorite PBS Kids shows. After that, it would be country music on the radio, and some Baby Sitters’ Club/Little Sister books, or some American Girl books on the days my mom didn’t have to be at work early. At that time, I was at my highest confirmed weight, and hadn’t yet reached my highest estimated weight. Up until then, I only remember hearing of grilled cheese sandwiches in passing, maybe once or twice tops.
The grilled cheese sandwiches I ended up making were made from the absolute cheapest bread from the end-all/be-all store, Velveeta, and the cheapest butter. Velveeta was basically all we ever got anyway. I had no idea what portion sizes meant, or the idea of calories, since that was never talked about at my house.
It wasn’t long before I moved on to other stuff, but those grilled cheese sandwiches I made after school that year were the first thing that came to mind for me when I first heard of Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day.
Over the years, I’d make one, once in a blue moon. I’d see grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu in a restaurant, but they’d be “grown-up grilled cheese” made w/ tomatoes. I never tried it, but this time around, I may make one w/ tomatoes in it at some point down the road.
While I was losing the weight, grilled cheese sandwiches weren’t on the radar anymore. My most recent round of grilled cheese sandwich making a few months back wasn’t a pile to be had in front of the TV. Nope, it was meal-prepped for my lunches, and only for my lunches. I spent those winter afternoons making sandwiches, w/ a John Berry album on the stereo, and the goal to use up some cheese I had living in the fridge long enough.
This time around, the bread was Trader Joe’s GF bread, the cheese was Swiss (and shredded in my beloved Salad Shooter), and my interpretation of cranberry chutney. If not that, then it was cheddar (also shredded in the Salad Shooter), grainy Maille mustard, and apples in the style of Alexandra Cooks.
My favorite thing about Trader Joe’s bread is that it’s small enough to fit in a bento-style lunchbox w/o having to resort to some Jenga action to make it fit. It also browns up in the cast-iron skillet like a boss, and it doesn’t have that weird sugary and yeasty smell like regular bread does.
I loved the sandwiches hot, but I found both versions to be better than I was expecting they’d be when they were cold.
I finally got through that stash of sandwiches, and now that I think about it, I’m sad they’re gone, haha. I’ve been meaning to post about it over on the ‘gram for the longest time. However, I’ve offloaded the app from my phone for now, since I’m trying to get enough space for the software update, haha.
I’ll get that posted soon. Scout’s honor!
Anyways, over to you, readers. Have you heard of Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day? If not, you’re not alone. Either way, got any plans to celebrate it? Got a favorite recipe you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop it all like it’s hot, and let’s talk.