Remember when your mom would open up a bag of whatever bread was laying around, grab two slices, slap some butter or butter-like product on them, stick a couple of those individually-wrapped American cheese bad boys in between, and grill it all up to crispy, gooey perfection? That's a cute memory, but it's time to face the fact that your mom didn't really love you, because chances are she wasn't using a $60 Grilled Cheese Tool Kit.

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$60 (Bread Not Included)

"This April, join Saxelby Cheesemongers in celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month! The grilled cheese sandwich is an American institution, and who better to guide you on your way to melty perfection than us..."

Who better? Anyone who is not charging $60 for A GRILLED. CHEESE. TOOL. KIT. (Emphasis on "TOOL" added.)

"For Grilled Cheese Month, we’ve created a tool box for making the best, most flavorful grilled cheese in your very own home. Each Grilled Cheese Tool Kit includes a jar of Hotties, the snappy, Sriracha spiced cucumber pickles from Rick’s Picks, and a generous pound of Pawlet, an Alpine-style cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm. You’ll also get a Saxelby-tested recipe card to guide you step-by-step on the path to grilled cheese goodness!"

Yes, you read that correctly: the kit includes cheese, pickles, and a recipe card in case you are uncertain about how to make a goddamn grilled cheese sandwich... But it does not include BREAD, which is kind of an important staple ingredient in any grilled cheese sandwich. It also doesn't include any actual "tools," like a spatula or a knife with which to kill yourself after spending $60 on a ripoff Grilled Cheese Tool Kit. As an alternative, here is a recipe for free, for a grilled cheese you can make for around $1 per sandwich... and it comes with a personal anecdote, as any good recipe should.

PHATTY GARLIC-MUSTARD GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
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Back in the late 1990s, I used to make these and sell them for a very reasonable price in parking lots of Phish shows, where me and my glass-blowing boyfriend (here he is with a dog we adopted!) would also sell hemp jewelry and glassware we made at his studio in Providence. The trick to moving grilled cheeses in the parking lot, where there was often a lot of competition, was to add something different, and we came up with the perfect combination: mustard and garlic powder. This cut costs because mustard is much cheaper than butter, and the garlic created an aroma that drew plenty of phans to our grill's flame. And the recipe still holds strong today:

  • 2 slices of bread—the cheaper the better, the last thing you want are some fancy whole grains messing up the texture.
  • 1 or 2 slices of American cheese
  • A dollop of mustard spread on the outside of each slice
  • Garlic powder mixed in the with mustard

Grill that to your liking (might we recommend dipping it in ketchup as you devour it?), put on some tunes, and you enjoy yourself.