Let us not dwell on the extreme break between the last installment of Waste Not, Eat Lots and this one. We all make mistakes. Rather, let’s focus on the crippling fear of lifelong unemployment and homelessness that strikes all graduates at least once in their lives. It can be especially difficult in these glorious summer months, as we watch the general populace flock to the streets in search of satiation. But contrary to what all those restaurants would like you to believe, with their outdoor seating and generous portions, summer is not a time for such carefree, conspicuous consumption. Save your money for all the soon-to-be-not free music festivals and U-Pass-less train rides around town. Now more than ever, it’s time to hunker down and be creative in the kitchen. Eating at home is the best way to stretch your leftover loan money as far as it will go, and this advantage is compunded with every meal you eat. With no teachers standing over your shoulder to judge your creations, you can be even more far-out than you were during the academic year. We’re going to eat ourselves into some crazy places together, folks. I hope you’re ready for the first meal of the rest of your life.
For such an inspired introduction, I must admit that this particular dish might be somewhat underwhelming. Lesson 1: Life will always disappoint you. Here’s a grilled cheese sandwich made with shredded cheese (“Italian blend”), crushed tomatoes (from a can), pepperoni, and wheat bread. I started by toasting the bread a little bit, then melting butter in the pan and proceeding as one would in any other cheese-grilling sandwich situation. Simple, delicious, and versatile: Substitute just about any of these ingredients for any others. Instead of pepperoni, try salami, ham, mushrooms, etc. Instead of crushed tomatoes, slice up some fresh ones. Add basil if you’re feeling fancy. You get the idea. It’s like pizza, only a sandwich.