Grilled Cheese Nirvana
To get the full value of this story, you need to know that my waffle iron is very special. I bought it perhaps 30 years ago in tiny Hilton, New York at a little shop called The Fixer's Offerings. The Fixer went around finding other people's castoffs, repairing and returning them to service. He was the ultimate recycler 20 years before the term "recycling" became a household word.
I bought the waffle iron mostly because I was enchanted by the two little round burners, the metal on-off switches that were sure to become red hot during the baking (they do), and the cloth-wrapped cord. Obviously, I was going through some kind of vintage stage.
Anyway, what I brought home as a quirky, five dollar purchase has been with me ever since. Other waffle irons have come and gone in my life but this one remains. It simply makes the best waffles on earth, and in a fraction of the time of any other waffle baker I have owned. The grates are seasoned from years of use, so they don't need greasing any more. Oh, it has some drawbacks, like the red hot switches and the fact that it can overheat, but all those considerations are minor compared to nearly instant and delicious waffles.
So, when I thought about putting a grilled cheese sandwich into my waffle iron, I thought carefully first. I didn't want anything to screw up my precious find. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
I needn't have worried - the waffle iron accepted the sandwich and the weight of the heavy metal grates flattened it down so that the whole sandwich settled into the grid and toasted to a golden brown in just a few minutes. No sticking, no protest, it just went to work.
Oh, my heavens! What a lovely, crisp, buttery, gooey perfection of a sandwich! The Swiss cheese melted not onto the bread but rather into it, and became one with it. We couldn't tell where the bread ended and the cheese began, except for the long threads molten of cheese that pulled out with each bite. This was grilled cheese nirvana.
I immediately began thinking about other ways to riff on the sandwich but My Beloved stopped me. "This is perfect just as it is," he said and, as he so often is, he was right. No need to gild an already golden sandwich.