I’ve grown frustrated with buying bread. Living alone for two years, I was the only one around to eat any of it, and I can’t find any half-loafs. What ends up happening, of course, is a few slices of bread get eaten in a sandwich and the rest of the bread sits on the shelf and turns seaweed-green. Even worse, the green hides on the wrong side of the bread from me and I don’t discover this unfortunate occurrence until it is too late.
Rather than throwing $2 away on bread at the store every few weeks, I’ve decided instead to purchase tortillas. Typically they have a longer shelf life, and they’re more versatile. I can tear them up or throw them in soups. I can make tacos or burritos. I can slather some honey on them and make a version of a sopapilla. Bread has nothing on tortillas, especially when it comes to quesadillas.
For a plain and simple carbohydrate, grilled cheeses are the American staple. But I ask you, can you put salsa in your grilled cheese? Guacamole? Will your grilled cheeses be there for you when all you want are fajitas but you don’t have the time to run to the store?
Don’t get me wrong, grilled cheeses have their place. It’s a meal to consume when I’m sick that’s more hearty than a simple soup. When I made the pilgrimage to Waco, Texas, to explore the Magnolia silos of “Fixer Upper” fame, I was delighted to see a food truck in the courtyard selling these gourmet grilled cheeses. It was one of the longest lines around, but I hopped right in and wasn’t disappointed at all. These grilled cheeses were dressed to the nines. They had a variety of cheeses and avocado, and you could add some pesto and chopped basil to eat with a creamy tomato soup that was available.
Grilled cheeses are great to eat in bulk. The other night, a group of my friends and I did this recently for dinner one night, and a lot of fun was had going to the store and getting grilled cheese ingredients and throwing our different sandwiches on the skillet. I’ve heard of people putting even more far-fetched ingredients in their grilled cheese, like Fruity Pebbles. But let me tell you, by the end of that night all the bread had been eaten. That was a quality investment.
But at what point does a grilled cheese stop being a grilled cheese and become a patty melt? That line definitely gets crossed, and the grilled cheese loses its purity. A quesadilla, however, always remains a quesadilla, no matter what seasoning gets added to it, or if bacon, chicken, steak or cereal gets thrown in.
Taco Bell may be onto something by having quesadillas readily available in a drive-thru, and that may be biasing me. Regardless, for any fiesta, quesadillas are where the party’s at.
At least until bread is more widely available in the half-loafs.
Miranda Wilcox is the managing editor of the Anna-Melissa Tribune, the Prosper Press and the Van Alstyne Leader. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.