Waffle grilled cheese — the cure for exhaustion

The J-pillow. The four extra pillows on my King-sized hotel room bed Tuesday night in Staunton (“Welcome, you’ve been chosen as our guest of the day. Here’s a Vitamin Water and keys to your upgraded King suite.”) Coffee. These little joys of the past week have gotten me through — but just barely. 

I’m tired. Again. Third trimester doesn’t officially start until next week, but it’s making its eminence known now. For example, as I was typing “coffee” just now — which reminded me to reach for those last few drops in my one-cup-a-day — I somehow managed to fumble said cup and splash the dregs onto my computer keyboard (this ended up being a really bad week-ruining thing, I found out later) and onto my new baby-planning notebook, which currently contains little more than name doodles. I had to laugh out loud as I rushed for the paper towels and my dog lapped up what landed on the floor. (After drafting this post, I had to shutdown my laptop for the day and am still working from another to allow it plenty of time to dry… hoping and praying it isn’t damaged.)

Sometimes, I really wonder how I’m going to raise a child.

Or make dinner. Or make it through the workday. Let alone the summer. Oh the necessary evil that is the three-ish months between now and meeting this precious babe! 

And then she moves (right now I think she’s doing the rumba — at least one of us got enough coffee this morning) and it’s all totally worth it. 

A little exhaustion never killed anyone, right? And it’s not like I’m not getting “enough” sleep, it’s just that “enough” no longer seems to be enough. It’s like my subconscious thinks I can make up for the lack of sleep that’s coming down the pike by storing up some extra now.  If only that were true.

Wednesday night, after driving 2.5 hours home from a conference and then crying through NPR’s coverage of the 70-year-old men being released from prison after 30 years, I was a puffy-eyed ball of exhaustion. I just stood in the kitchen for the longest time, hoping dinner would make itself. I had the makings of a beautiful farmers market salad in my fridge, but it just didn’t sound good. Nothing sounded good. Except grilled cheese. Not just any grilled cheese, but the super-special kind that will make me a memorable mother: grilled cheese in a waffle maker.

photo 2

If you haven’t discovered this grilled cheese hack yet, let me assure you it’s a good one. If you use a particularly porous bread, the cheese melt into it and makes these wonderful crusty pockets. I like to feature ham, some form of cured meat like a fancy pepperoni, pickles and mayo on mine. A sharp cheddar and light goat cheese mix works well, or gouda. Depending on your wafflemaker, I recommend making smaller sandwiches that will fit within the press. You can also use official grilled cheese presses, like one my grandmother had growing up, or a cuban press if you’re a sandwich pro. But everyone has a waffle maker; and everyone loves things that end up looking like waffles.

So, this weekend, when you’re famished between household chores and farmers market runs and nothing in your fridge sounds good, get out some bread, some cheese, and your waffle maker. (Be sure to grease it with butter or coconut oil first.) Let me know how it goes!



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