Tuesday, March 30, 2010

writing, cooking, nourishing

 My good friend J (who happens to be an amazing short story writer) and I decided to combine our creative forces and good appetites into  wholesome nourishment of cooking and writing. We talk food a lot, often venturing into our childhood favorites, discussing how some of them stayed with us till adulthood completely intact and some, considering abundance of available ingredients, have evolved into something different...but still delivering the same feeling of comfort, we got from these foods when we were little.

nourishment  (written by J)
Grilled cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off. My grandfather’s specialty made with white bread, (the only kind I knew there was back then) and bubbling yellow American cheese, (gently peeled from the individually wrapped coat of plastic) slightly burned on the outside, (just the way I liked it.) Consuming the masterpiece of carbohydrates, dairy, and grease slowly, examining each bite for teeth impressions, and eating around the ends in a spiral-like fashion, so that my final bite of cheesy goodness would be the exact center of the sandwich, the heart, the core.
I would enjoy my lunch on the screened-in back porch of my childhood home, the thin royal blue weathered carpeting, the wooden drawer that housed my expansive rock collection, the old worn-out sofa, which doubled as the base for a fort. That tired and patched sofa marked the gathering space where my Poppy and I would spend many evenings sitting and listening to nature’s chorus: identifying bird calls, eavesdropping on the conversations of insects and frogs..... (read the rest of the story here)

Grilled cheese sandwich must be everyone's childhood favorite. We LOVE this adult, gourmet version with three amazing cheeses, fresh herbs and crusty bread.....we simply can't resist that!!!! And although list of ingredients has changed we still get the same feeling of nourishment completed with memories of places and people that created them.

Cowgirl Creamery grilled cheese sandwich 
 (created for Hog Island Oyster Co)

1 cup Cowgirl Creamery Fromage Blanc
1 cup Grated Cave Aged Gruyere Cheese
1 cup Grated Vell Mezzo Secco Cheese
1 tablespoon fresh herbs like thyme and oregano, finely chopped
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 slices good crusty bread, I used Italian Batard
a little bit of olive oil

Mix the cheeses with herbs and pepper in a bowl. Preheat non stick fry pan to medium hot. Sprinkle one side of each slice of bread with some olive oil. Spread the cheese mixture on the non oiled side of the bread slices and place four pieces, oil side down, into the fry pan. Place the corresponding slices on top and cook until brown, then turn and brown the other side. Because the cheeses are grated and bound together with the fromage blanc, they melt quickly and evenly, slightly oozing out the sides. Serve with pickles like cornichons, pepperoncini, olives. Serves four. (recipe source The View From the Bay)

                                          happy cooking and finger licking from M&J
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