JUST GRILLED CHEESE sandwiches, I suppose, but particularly good ones. We stopped at Acme Bread in Berkeley yesterday and bought a big loaf of levain bread, one of those big boules that you think will last a week. When I get them home I cut the loaf in half, then cut one of the halves in half again, and take my slices from the center cut. We had overnight guests who stayed for breakfast, of course, so we'll be done with that loaf in a day or so.
Cook butters the slices on one side, layers thin slices of cheese on the unbuttered side, and makes the sandwiches. She grills them in a hot black iron skillet. She'll have heated a slightly smaller skillet on an adjacent burner, and sets that on top of the sandwiches while they grill, turning them as necessary.
The cheese is nagelkaas, a favorite of ours — Dutch cow's-milk boerkaas, farmer cheese, aged several months, and made with a few whole cloves scattered in the curd before it's formed. We'd never tried grilling it before: it works beautifully.
Yes, green salad; then a tangerine and a slice of Thérèse's Christmas cake made with a local stout instead of Guinness. Yum.