Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

When I was a child, we went to church every Sunday.  It was the outing of the week – the one time when the whole family did something together.  Before church we had our one cooked breakfast for the week and we boys put on our suits, ties and good shoes.

We wore clip-on bow ties.  As I recall mine was a red plaid thing.  It was the sixties and my father was still living in the fifties.  Father wore clip-on bow ties everyday to the office where he was a tax accountant and had the joyful job of telling people how much they owed the government.  Well he did have the joy of sometimes telling people how big their refund would be.

But Sunday wasn’t about taxes.  It was about community, and being with family and friends.  Well, and there was that whole God, church, religion thing too.  There was also an aspect of seeing how much trouble you could get into without getting your “Sunday Clothes” dirty.

After church there was always the coffee hour where we kids would get the red punch, dad a cup of coffee, and mother would get a cup of tea she wouldn’t drink.  Then we’d all pile into the car and head home for lunch.

One meal I remember most is chili and grilled cheese sandwiches.  It was wonderful.  The chili came from a can (Hormel chili con carne without beans plus an added can of kidney beans – yeah seems weird to me now) and we got to use the big electric sandwich grill that could make four sandwiches at a time. Actually it was a waffle grill with changeable plates for sandwiches or waffles (we never made waffles).  At seven years old this was just all magical and tasted great.

I’m sure we had other things to eat for our Sunday lunch, but this meal was standard and was always a crowd pleaser for our family.  I do recall going to other church members homes for Sunday lunch and being surprised that they didn’t have a sandwich grill.  I was also disappointed to learn that Jesus probably didn’t eat chili and that likely he didn’t have sandwiches either.  Seemed odd to me, as that would have been an easy way to feed the five thousand – a big pot of chili and a sandwich grill.

This memory comes back to me often on a Sunday.  Today it came back because Heather and I had a can of Amy’s Organic Chili.  I’ll admit that canned chili isn’t something I relish these days, but it does bring back a flood of memories.

Memories of being told not to run at church, of singing hymns, folding the church bulletin into a paper airplane and flying them from the choir loft.  Memories of Sunday School art projects, the Christmas pageant, and the time I played a carol on the piano for the pageant program.  Or the many years one of our paper airplanes stayed stuck high on a beam in the sanctuary.

I was reminded of my father today, because I had to write the check for our taxes and was reminded of what he sometimes said about that, “Only them with money has that problem chum.”

Thanks Dad.


About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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42 Responses to Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

  1. slpsharon says:

    We used the packet where you add your own hamburger. I still have that waffle iron.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CJ Hartwell says:

    Ah, these are great memories! I have fond memories of church as a kid — always felt kind of lucky that way. Our Sunday dinner was pot roast with potatoes and carrots. The only time we had canned chili — and it was a treat, let me tell you — was on vacation. We never ate at restaurants, instead Dad packed a little butane burner and one of our meals was always chili with hot dogs. Chili dogs, if you felt so inclined. Funny, I’ve not had a chili dog in so long, I doubt I’d even like it, but it’s still a great memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi. I was wandering around and found your blog. It’s good reading. And grilled cheese — yum — mine was always paired with tomato soup.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m currently eating a grilled cheese. Weird. Mine comes with a slice of turkey, compliments of my husband.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your memories made me smile! We had one of those waffle iron/sandwich grill things, too; but I don’t recall ever having grilled sandwiches made with it – we had waffles! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I recall, we never figured out how to do waffles right. Either there won’t be enough batter, or it would stick and make a horrible mess. Then my mother discovered Eggo Frozen waffles and the waffle maker was assigned sandwich duty.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mukhamani says:

    Memories, it is fascinating what we remember and what we don’t 🙂 Why wouldn’t your mother drink the tea ?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Debra says:

    I love your dad’s remark about paying taxes. And your Sunday routines are similar to my memories of Sunday, with different meal patterns, but the regularity of attending church, dressing “up,” as we called it, and setting into a church day that also included my grandparents in attendance with us. We often spent the entire day with them. Warm memories often come back. My mom wasn’t the greatest cook, and a lot of our meals, especially on Sunday, emanated from a can! Perhaps that’s why I fondly remember the Sundays with Grandma–she cooked! Oh, but we did have the sandwich grill! Sadly, the cheese was often very processed! Probably Velveeta. At the time that was fine with me!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful memories, Andrew. We were a bit more informal—a donut and a beverage held us over until the 2 pm dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. George says:

    Love this post, Andrew. And of course, I’m a big fan of your dad’s wisdom..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lorieb says:

    we must be of a similar age,(no need to specify) my memories are very similar! As we had 6 children in our family, my mom used to make open faced grilled cheese sandwiches in the oven so she could make a whole tray of them at once. As for the bow ties, I don’t remember my brothers wearing them, but I do have a box of them that my husband wore to church (also in the 60s). On a different note, for some reason your posts were going to my spam file, was wondering why I had not seen one of yours in a while, saw this one there when looking for something else I was missing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no! not the SPAM filter!!! Glad you found me. My mother use to like cheese and tomatoes that she’d grill under the broiler on a piece of bread. We boys thought it was weird, but these days I sometimes make one of those.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. And then you don’t (have the problem, after you pay the taxes)…

    I have the same memories but without my Dad joining us. Just us 4 kids and mom. That was enough!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. dorannrule says:

    What sweet memories you have of Sunday rituals. I must admit chili and grilled cheese is an odd family tradition but pancakes and bacon would not have made as great a blog post. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, those childhood memories, aren’t they great? Nothing better than a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. We always had ours with tomato soup and still do. A pot of chili in our house demands cornbread.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pied Type says:

    We had one of those sandwich/waffle grills just like you described. Mom always put a strip of bacon on top of each sandwich. And instead of chili, we had tomato soup. But my oh my how I love chili!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. An enjoyable account from your childhood, Andrew. We also made grilled sandwiches but without the chilli, and I also loved them.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Relax... says:

    Wonderful family memories.. and a very wise man, your father!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love this piece. So well written, I felt I was right there with you. Thanks for sharing these beautiful memories. Blessings always. (By the way, I LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches!)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wonderful memories to have and I also to this day have homemade chili and Grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Liked by 1 person

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