I must admit, when I read the theme for this month's Blog Party, I scratched my head a bit. I gather that a lot of people were really excited about the "retro" theme, but I couldn't really think of any retro food. I don't have retro cookbooks. Could just be my sprightly age, but I had no idea. So I started thinking about diner food. Diners are kind of a 50s thing, I think. And I used to love egg creams when I was a teenager, so I could make one of those. And grilled cheese, that's kind of a diner food. And hey, my mom was born between the 1920s and 1960s! (I won't tell you the year, because a lady's daughter never tells her age). I love my mom's grilled cheese to death. I don't know if she was actually making it in the 1960s yet, but it's delish. Unfortunately, I kind of suck at grilled cheese, though, so I decided to cheat. I used the broiler on my toaster oven, and as you can see it doesn't really crisp, because the crusts blacken so much that you want to take it out while the rest is still a bit soft. I did try it again, though (not pictured), with the toaster oven at 425, and that worked very well. Nice and light brown and crispy. Also, it turns out egg creams don't have egg in them (really?) I thought they were like milkshakes, you know, you drop a raw egg in to make it tastier. But no. This one kind of failed, because I used a short glass, but I hate washing out the tall ones.
Mom's Grilled Cheese
The Toaster Oven Version
2 slices bread (I used sourdough)
3-4 thick slices of extra sharp Cheddar (I used Tillamook Reserve)
Preheat toaster oven to 425. Slather your bread with mayo, then top with enough Cheddar to cover it. Spread the outside of the sandwich with margarine on both sides. Put on the foil-lined toaster oven tray. Cook about six minutes on each side. The bread should be light brown and cripsy, the cheese nice and gooey.
(makes one tall glass)
2 T chocolate syrup
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup seltzer
Make sure all ingredients are cold. Squirt the syrup in the bottom of a tall glass. Slowly pour the milk in, then the seltzer to within an inch of the rim of the glass. Let it foam up, then carefully stir with a long spoon, trying not to disturb the foam.