Day 363. Bloody Brilliant

2Are you a woman who loves to travel?  If you are, you should consider subscribing to  It’s a free newsletter for women, ironpacked (no pun intended) with travel tips.  All kinds of travel tips.

From which destinations and hotels and restaurants are single-women-travelling-alone-friendly to  recommendations on the best local guides, to interesting and unique trips you can book, to an idea I read in the latest issue I simply had to share with you.  It’s the reason I’m writing this, particular, blog today.

I don’t know about you, but when I travel outside of North America for any length of time, at some point I crave a taste of home.  Once, on a three-week vacation in Europe, by the last few days all I wanted was a tuna sandwich.  I went to bed craving one.  I woke up wanting one.  And nothing I ate, no matter how delicious, satisfied me.

It was the first thing I had when I got home.  Before I’d even unpacked my bags.  I can still remember how good it was; and how much I enjoyed it.  Almost to the point of moaning.

So when I saw this tip, when I read the latest Journeywoman newsletter yesterday, I knew it was too good to keep to myself.

Do you know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich in a hotel?

Not me.  Well, I didn’t.  But I do now.  And  I know you’ll think it’s as brilliant as I do:

Go to a grocery store, even a tiny one, or a convenience-type store.  Buy a loaf of sliced bread, some cheese slices, margarine (or butter), tinfoil and a knife — even a plastic one.

Make the sandwich.  Spread the margarine (or butter) on both the inside and outside of the sandwich, just like you do at home.  Wrap the sandwich in tinfoil.  Get out the hotel ironing board and iron  You’d be hard pressed to find a hotel these days where you won’t find one in the closet.

Turn the iron on and let it get hot.

Iron your sandwich on both sides, until the cheese melts.


A grilled cheese sandwich.

Unwrap and enjoy.  Mmmmmm …

Their version was a bit fancier.  They added slices of apple.  They also made it with brown bread.

Yes, yes, I know it’s healthier.  But in my opinion, some things should NOT messed with.  The grilled cheese sandwich is one of them.  I do not want mine made with brown bread.  I want good, old fashioned white bread.  The springy kind your mother used for your lunch when you were a kid.  I don’t want ‘designer’ cheese, either.  No brie, in other words.  I want plain cheese slices.  And thanks, but no thanks on the apple slices.

When it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches I’m a purist.  I want a grilled cheese sandwich like you get in a diner.  Ooey, gooey, and squished.  Happy to have the apple for dessert.

Personally I think this is so ingenious, if I had an iron and an ironing board at home, I’d do it here.  I’d have probably tried it out yesterday.  But I don’t.

No need to clean out your ears.  You heard right.  I do NOT own an iron.  Or an ironing board.  It’s a public service, trust me.  I am completely incapable of ironing.  I iron creases IN.  No word of a lie.  When I was a little girl I’d watch my mother iron and beg her to let me try.  Which she would.  I really liked it.  And, I suppose, for a kid, I wasn’t half bad at it.

But I seemed to outgrow this phase faster than I outgrew my clothes.  I’ve never looked back.

Good friends of my parents gave me a fancy schmancy iron as a house-warming gift, when I moved into my first apartment.  It had every doodah on it you could think of.  The first time I used it I burned a hole in my favourite shirt.  When I finally gave it to my cleaning lady, a good fifteen or twenty years later, it was still in its box.  Literally brand new.

An ex boyfriend of mine loved to iron.  He could iron for hours.  He said it relaxed him.  It’s true, too.  He’d stand there, transfixed, almost in a trance while he ironed away.  And he was brilliant at it.  You would have sworn everything he touched had just come back from the dry cleaner.  What can I say?  Each to his own.

Me?  I’d rather have a massage.


26 thoughts on “Day 363. Bloody Brilliant

  1. A woman after my own heart! I do not like ironing. In fact, I won’t buy clothes that require ironing to look nice. And I get the cravings a long trip bring. Mexican food was my craving on my first backpacking adventure to Europe. My traveling companion was Chinese-American and while she also wanted Mexican food, craved her grandma’s cooking. So when we got to Paris, we had a Chinese restaurant lunch. We spoke no French and my friend had a hard time understanding French-accented Cantonese, but somehow they figured out she was homesick and gave her a meal that made her feel better.

    • It’s why I like linen. It’s supposed to be creased. Nothing I like better than a rumpled linen jacket. I had great chinese food in Paris once.

  2. In the 70s I was in South America for two weeks. The food was fabulous. I had wonderful steaks and fruits and vegetables but at that time they didn’t have pizza. I stopped at a pizza joint on the was home from the airport. We have two irons in the house. They are good for holding things down.

      • Yep – I’m a non-ironer too. I also check the labels of any clothes I’m considering buying to make sure they are machine-washable as I don’t do hand washing and I’m too stingy to pay for regular dry-cleaning.

        However, an iron for grilled-cheese sandwich making purposes sounds brilliant. That, I can go for.

  3. Pingback: Food Choices | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  4. Aaah…finally a good use for my iron ;). I do own one but it only gets used when the sewing mood is upon me, and the ironing board is really just more extra space to dump files & papers on. Definitely in the camp that buys only clothes that don’t need ironing…

  5. I starch and iron on a regular basis so I’d swop the grilled cheese for the ironing boyfriend too. 🙂

    Thanks for the link Fran.

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