The Cheese Dream, that’s what it was called during the Great Depression. With the advent of sliced bread in 1928 and processed dairy in 1956, a revolution progressively melted its way into our sandwiches and our hearts. Since then, it has been known around the world by many names such as croquet monsieur and cheese toastie. Its likeness can be found in ancient Roman text but only as a description. Despite its universal appeal across time and continents, it is largely viewed as an American construct. As such, on April 12th, we as a hungry nation will celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day.

The famous chef Gordon Ramsey claims to have crafted the Ultimate version of this cheesy icon. While his assertion may be true, the creative interpretations are many—white bread or rye, American cheese, or a blend of its brethren. Whether you bake or grill yours, the American Red Cross has a couple of cooking tips to keep in mind before trying your hand at the title.

First, cooking is the number one cause of home fires, and ninety percent of kitchen fires are caused by unattended food and heat. So just as you wouldn’t leave that delicious, finished product alone before a hungry crowd, similar diligence while cooking can head off a substantially toastier delay. One culprit may be that food packaging your ingredients came in, so be sure and keep anything flammable away from the heat. Also, you want to sizzle up that sandwich, not yourself—with that in mind, it’s best to avoid long sleeves and dangling clothing. Another good practice while cooking is to keep small children and eager pets at least three feet from the action. And finally, before you begin, you can prevent a kitchen fire by regularly cleaning cooking surfaces. This habit will control the build-up of grease—a catalyst for fire.

Today on National Grilled Cheese Day, we hope you enjoy a big bite of nostalgia, sample the physical form of an intangible thing—joy— and in the process, build new memories with friends and family to look back and remember next year. For more cooking tips please visit our website at https://rb.gy/3yzu1.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members, and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit https://rb.gy/1fiss or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossTXGC, Facebook @RedCrossTXGC or Instagram @txgulfcoastredcross

By: Kristen Lawler