Enlightenment Productions | Pure Cheese
Enlightenment Productions is an award-winning film and TV production company based in London and founded in partnership between producer Hanan Kattan and writer and director Shamim Sarif.
TV and Film Production, Media and film, entertainment, shamim sarif, hanan kattan
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Pure Cheese

Pure Cheese

I’ve been busy. Of course you have, I hear you cry. Your busy-ness and Hanan’s whip-cracking form the base of many a funny blog (funny for you, that is). Well, I have transcended the previous levels of industriousness and I have been working so hard that Hanan actually cooked me lunch.

I was driving home from the office, when I got a call (the fifth in ten minutes) from my wife.

‘Did you finish editing my marketing book?’ she asked.

‘I’ve been driving home since you last asked me,’ I pointed out.

‘Is that a ‘no’?’ my wife clarified.

‘Yes.’

‘Yes, you’ve finished the book, or yes, it’s a no?’

I was confused and Hanan must have heard the whimper in my voice.

‘Are you hungry?’ she asked suddenly. ‘Shall I make you a grilled cheese sandwich? Something nice and simple!’

It was as if the clouds had parted. Where there had only been the damp misery of unfulfilled To Do lists, there was suddenly the prospect of fried bread and cheese. I agreed and drove a little faster towards home.

I arrived about 20 minutes later to an aroma that made me light-headed. Over the 2 ring electric hob in our temporary kitchen, Hanan was juggling plates and frying pans, while Luca stood by, aghast. I’ll say one thing for my wife, she doesn’t cook for years (or ever) but when she does, it’s an event.

This grilled cheese sandwich started with a sliced red onion, a chopped clove of garlic and a diced green chili.  Yes, I know, that’s not like any sandwich I know either, but let me finish.  The whole lot was sauteed, then kept to one side, while the bread toasted (in the toaster) before being put into frothing butter and olive oil in a pan. Slices of cheddar were laid on top, and when they started melting, she threw the whole onion mixture back on top. Next came a scattering of fresh coriander leaves. A sprinkling of lightly toasted sesame seeds completed the picture and she deposited the fragrant, crisp, melting product in front of me.

Frankly, I hadn’t felt this overwrought since shooting the love scenes in ‘I Can’t Think Straight.’

I tasted a bite. It was amazing. I had to close my eyes to cope with the deliciousness of it. Luca watched me in barely disguised horror.

‘Gross!’ he said to Hanan. ‘Mama? Everything you cook has a million horrible things in it. Like George’s Marvellous Medicine.’

‘Isn’t it bedtime?’ I asked. It was 2pm but I was being disturbed from my melting, crunchy cheese-fest.

Leaving the sink piled high with dishes, Hanan sat opposite me at our makeshift table and watched me demolish the rest of my lunch. She had the warm glow of someone who has created a masterpiece and seen it appreciated. I looked at her happily.

‘Can I ask you something?’ she asked.

‘Anything!’ I replied.

‘Have you finished editing my book yet?’

Reader, I left the table, my sandwich-euphoria complete, and edited the book. Then I proof-read it, worked on systems for Enlightenment Business Solutions, shot a video of Leonie Casanova rehearsing, answered 300 emails, raised the children, cleaned the house, ignored low-hanging jeans on the chubby Polish builder on the roof outside our bedroom window and now I’m working on structures for I Can’t Think Straight Web Series. Thank goodness it’s Friday.

Hanan takes a break from cooking to show the builders how it's done...

Hanan takes a break from cooking to show the builders how it's done...


Shamim Sarif
shamim@enlightenment-productions.com
19 Comments
  • Cjforareason
    Posted at 19:57h, 06 November

    Oh boy! That got rid of my Monday blues;) A grilled cheese sandwich will never look the same for me hereafter:-)

  • Lauren
    Posted at 01:06h, 06 November

    Any woman who can wield a paint brush, a spatula and an iPhone with such panache deserves to have her project prioritized…the only major glitch is that at any given moment you're juggling approximately 327 “top priorities”!! But the rusty gears in my head are turning…

    I wonder, has TED featured any insightful talks on human cloning? 🙂 I'm thinking your next venture could possibly be….. <insert and=”” clash=”” crescendo=”” here=”” ominous=”” thunder=”” violin=””>  Enlightenment Laboratories!!

    The way I see it?

    Cloning Shamim = more books, movies, music & blogs

    Cloning Hanan = Pure, undiluted T-R-O-U-B-L-E

    No offense to Hanan (whom I believe was actually cloned long ago, which can be the only logical explanation for her otherworldly level of productivity…)</insert>

  • Lauren
    Posted at 00:06h, 06 November

    Any woman who can wield a paint brush, a spatula and an iPhone with such panache deserves to have her project prioritized…the only major glitch is that at any given moment you're juggling approximately 327 “top priorities”!! But the rusty gears in my head are turning…

    I wonder, has TED featured any insightful talks on human cloning? 🙂 I'm thinking your next venture could possibly be….. <insert and=”” clash=”” crescendo=”” here=”” ominous=”” thunder=”” violin=””>  Enlightenment Laboratories!!

    The way I see it?

    Cloning Shamim = more books, movies, music & blogs

    Cloning Hanan = Pure, undiluted T-R-O-U-B-L-E

    No offense to Hanan (whom I believe was actually cloned long ago, which can be the only logical explanation for her otherworldly level of productivity…)</insert>

  • Theresa
    Posted at 22:23h, 05 November

    After 7 days w/o electricity only your blog could cheer me up. Thank you, Shamim.

  • Humaira761
    Posted at 12:44h, 05 November

    love u shamim

  • ShamimSarifOfficialFrenchBlog
    Posted at 07:26h, 05 November

    VF : http://shamimsariffrance.wordp… How come you still answer “Anything” when Hanan asks whether she can ask something…. Must be the sandwich that turned your ideas upside down 😉 Thanks for brightening my bronchitis week-end, sorry it has to be agt your expenses. 🙂

  • Du pur fromage | Le blog français de Shamim Sarif
    Posted at 07:18h, 05 November

    […] Article original : Pure cheese […]

  • Ash Mitra1023
    Posted at 00:11h, 05 November

    its hilarious~~!!!! 🙂

    • shamimsarif
      Posted at 02:41h, 05 November

      Thanks Ash, and all true!

  • Teedee1969
    Posted at 22:43h, 04 November

    It is very hard to explain to people why you are laughing out loud in a shopping mall foodcourt so I sit hear with tears in my eyes trying to stop myself from letting out a cackle but I found your blog very funny. Thanks for giving me a bloody good laugh for the day I am the same I cannot function or answer any reasonable request when my empty stomach takes over the thinking part of my brain.
    Cheers

    • shamimsarif
      Posted at 02:34h, 05 November

      You're welcome! Did they have as good a sandwich there?!

      • Teedee1969
        Posted at 03:53h, 06 November

        They had a great subway lol

  • Claudia
    Posted at 19:29h, 04 November

    Thank you, Shamim, for your time and as always, a most fulfilling blog! Where does the blogging end and script writing begin for @ICTSweb?  #Genius #Talented  🙂

    • shamimsarif
      Posted at 02:36h, 05 November

      Hanan would have liked it done already! I need time to ruminate (and crowd source!)

      • Claudia
        Posted at 21:55h, 06 November

        Sitting Meditation ….. Shamim, you especially, must set aside some time each day just for “being.” Sit, watch the breathing, with no agenda other than being in the present moment.

  • Dreamer98198
    Posted at 18:37h, 04 November

    Absolutely fabulous!  Now I am sooo hungry . . .  HANAN!!!  Could you please…? 

    ROTFLMAO!  ;-D

    Well done, Shamim, and I don't mean the cheese sandwich!

    • shamimsarif
      Posted at 02:36h, 05 November

      Indeed!

  • flintsuter
    Posted at 17:54h, 04 November

    oh my! I want one of those sandwhiches!!!  I will have to make a list and try those ingredients together!  Brilliant! Off to start a fire in the pit for our weekly POETS gathering, is going to be cold, but hopefully the fire will at least warm one side of everyone! Strong coffee laced with butterscotch shnapps and all will be well!  Hope you and Hanan don't have to work too hard this weekend! Cheers!

    • shamimsarif
      Posted at 02:41h, 05 November

      That sounds like a good weekend! Enjoy the coffee 🙂