After only a few weeks of practice, my son has finally learned how to make his own grilled cheese sandwiches. This is a BIG accomplishment in my book. It means Michael and I can perhaps go away for a weekend without worrying that Jason will have to subsist on Costco rolls and Ritz Bits with cheese.
(How convenient that our anniversary AND my birthday are right around the corner. :D)
Anyway, in case you don’t already know, Jason won’t eat just ANY grilled cheese sandwiches. Due mainly to his Asperger’s, he likes them done a particular way and so I decided to begin teaching him the easy part first–everything but the buttering.
On our recent trip to Utah, I challenged him to take over the placing of the buttered slices on the grill, the placing of the cheese slices, the flipping (more about that in a minute), and the cutting off of the crusts.
He got better the more he did it, though he wasn’t always happy about having to do it. Still, as we all know, practice makes perfect. He’s proven himself to be an accomplished flipper, in particular, as will be demonstrated in a video below.
Once we returned home, I finally made him take up the dreaded knife and begin to learn how to spread butter on a slice of bread without demolishing it. It took some coaching and I even had him place his hand over mine a few times to get the feeling of the knife’s angle, etc. But it worked!
And here are the pictures (and video) to prove it:
(First, the set up: Orowheat Country Buttermilk Bread, Country Crock Spread with Calcium, Kraft American Cheese Slice Singles, one of our blue Tupperware plates, and an unplugged griddle…the knife and spatula aren’t shown here)
(Jason lays four slices out on the plate to be buttered)
(He opens up the butter…hey, sometimes it’s not easy!)
(Now he’s dipping in with the knife)
(And he begins to butter the first slice)
(Here’s a closer look…it’s a very meticulous process for him, but that’s fine.)
(With all four slices buttered, it’s now time to set the top two, upside down, on the griddle.)
(And then comes a slice of cheese for each)
(As you may imagine, he’s very careful about placing the cheese slice just so. In fact, he’s a little perturbed that cheese slices aren’t made to fit the bread better.)
(See how perfectly he’s centered them?)
(Now it’s time to set the other slices on top…)
(And finally plug in the griddle, turn it to 325, and start the timer)
NOTE: After years of experimenting, we discovered that Jason’s preferred grilled cheese sandwiches turn out perfectly when heated at the above temperature for only 2 minutes and 5 seconds for the first batch, and 1 minute and 35 seconds for the second batch. Yes, he eats four grilled cheese sandwiches at a sitting…four for breakfast, and another four for dinner. For lunch, he snacks on a banana and some Ritz Bits or something.
(A closer look at the sandwiches as they are grilled)
Then comes the flipping:
(Quick and sure)
(He begins cutting off the crusts after first turning off and unplugging the griddle)
(Then he moves the crustless sandwiches over to the plate)
(And now the cutting into bite-sized squares)
(First the top sandwich…)
(And then the bottom before moving to the horizontal cuts)
(Making 16 small bite-size squares in all)
(E voilá! Grilled Cheese á la mode de Jason!)*
*I apologize if I mixed my French and Italian a bit there. Can’t recall if it should be “de” or “du”
Originally posted 2013-08-30 06:00:46.