When I flipped this sandwich out of the frying pan and onto Will’s plate, I instantly smiled. Do you see it? The simple, unmistakable shape was clear as day. Instead of shooting a photo of the most perfect sandwich in the batch, I went with the one with the perfect little unexpected heart.
Here, you can see it better in this one:
That perfect little unexpected heart is a lot like a mother’s love. You carry a child for nine and a half months. Of course you are supposed to love them, it’s expected. But loving that little seed in your belly is like talking to an imaginary friend. You know the baby is there and real. But before anyone can see or touch that baby, it’s intangible. It’s confusing and uncertain. Really, it’s an abstract thing – loving something, someone, whom you don’t know and who you’ve never met. It’s complicated. Then one day they are born. And you are expected to love them right away, instantly. You can’t help but wonder if you really can love someone whom you only know as the alien jabs in your belly. So, when you have that swell of emotion when the baby first cries, that pop of relief that they really have arrived safely, it is unexpected.
This evening after dinner, I curled onto the couch next to Will. He scurried his little warm body close to me and laid down in front of me. I put my arms around him and hugged him close, while his short hair tickled my nose. “I love you, Mommy,” he whispered.
Simple, unexpected, heart swelling. What more can a mom ask for?
As for the sandwich, well, I can’t wait to make another one. It was sweet and sharp and crispy all at once. Absolutely, positively delish. And yes – this is totally kid-approved.
French Toasted Apple Grilled Cheese
- 8 slices bread (I use a low-cal oatmeal bread that is thinly sliced)
- 2 tbsp apple butter , divided
- 4 ounces of sliced extra-sharp cheddar (I used a block of cheddar and cut enough slices to cover the bread)
- 1 egg , beaten well
- Spread 1/2 tbsp of apple butter on one side of a slice of bread. Repeat until you have four slices with apple butter on them. Place cheddar slices on each of the apple buttered slices of bread. Top with remaining slices of bread.
- Heat a large skillet on the stove, with the heat set to just below medium.
- Pour the beaten egg onto a plate. When the skillet is hot, dredge each sandwich in the egg (on both sides of the bread) and place onto the skillet. Remember, you want to dredge, not drench. Cook, flipping once, until bread is browned on both sides.
- Serve immediately.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.