Wow. What a month this has been. When I embarked on this blog, there was a certain hope that it would be a path to something viable in the pursuit of the things I am most passionate about. But I didn’t know what form that would take, or when it would happen, or what it would feel like. This month, I began to get a sense of that. My life went from a rather steady and reliable pace to one of breakneck speed. Some things had to be sacrificed, and for a few weeks, this was one of those things. This month there was a lot of meat. After cooking, shooting and styling ten dishes with ground beef for Bon Appetit’s site and a ridiculous thirty dishes with bacon for another project, there was little appetite left for much of anything. Except, perhaps, a bowl of broccoli and an episode of Friday Night Lights. I continued contributing to Etsy’s awesome blog; I started a new monthly venture with Oh Happy Day. (Yay!) I also hopped on-board with Foodzie, helping them out with both photography and sourcing new artisan vendors. It’s a great fit and I’m thrilled to be involved with them. And I spent an epic Sunday shooting the Good Food Awards judging panels along with a bunch of other talented photographers. It was such a remarkable and rewarding day and totally reinforced that this is absolutely the community and the people that I want to spend my time with. That’s the edited version of this month. It’s been exciting and gratifying and stressful and exhausting.
There were the frazzled phone calls to my dad. (Thanks, Dad!) I found a little comfort in an incredible podcast about quitting from Freakonomics, a great reminder that we don’t need to say yes to everything. And if I’m gonna be really frank, I took solace in Coach Taylor. All those slogans and phrases, for whatever they’re worth, have a great purpose when you’re essentially trying to coach yourself through some high tides. Clear eyes, full hearts. Seriously.
Now, the pace has slackened some and the appetite has returned. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to revisit really simple foods that emphasize the produce of the season after working with so much meat. And if ever there is a time of year to enjoy apples at their best, this is it. So here’s a little sandwich that is everything great about fall. Get the sharpest cheddar you can find, the crispest apple and a few sprigs of fresh sage, slather some bread with butter, plop it in a hot skillet, and you’re set.
GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH WITH APPLE + SAGE
For each sandwich:
2 slices whole wheat bread
3-4 slices sharp cheddar
3-4 slices crisp apple
1/2 teaspoon (roughly) chopped, fresh sage
1 teaspoon butter
Warm a cast iron (or similar) skillet over a medium flame.
Spread butter over outer side of each slice of bread. Layer the sandwich first with cheese, followed by apple, and finished with a sprinkle of fresh sage.
When the skillet is nice and hot, place the sandwich in the pan, and weight it with a small plate and a bowl (a la Mark Bittman.) Let sit, undisturbed, for about 3-4 minutes, until the bread has crisped to a golden brown.
Flip once, and let brown in the pan for another 3-4 minutes.
Enjoy with a huge salad or a cup of tea.