Moving has thrown me off my grilled cheese game. I’m forced to work with a new frying pan, and, like an F1 test driver working out the kinks in a new chassis, I’m struggling to produce acceptable results. Twice now I’ve pre-heated my instrument to what I thought was a good grilled-cheese temperature, only to reduce the sandwiches to carbon. It’s a great dishonour to the love and care I put into crafting the raw materials—the bread, so evenly buttered; the cheese, precision trimmed to cover the surface of the bottom slice, like cheddar floor tiling. Uncooked, they are beautiful. All I want is to apply a gentle, even heat to transform that beauty into a pure, crisp deliciousness.
I end up taking a butter knife to them and scraping layers of charcoal into the sink. But no matter how thoroughly I scrape, I will never exfoliate my incompetence and shame.