Trash Walking

disposables, keepers, treasures

Mac & Cheese. Writing 101, Day Ten: Happy (Insert Special Occassion Here)

on June 16, 2014

This is a keeper post.  A cherished memory of cooking with love.

Tell us about your favourite childhood meal.  That’s the Day Ten writing Challenge here in Writing 101 land.

That’s so easy!   My mom’s World Famous Baked Mac & Cheese, hands down.  Still a favourite, although now it’s me making it for my son, from mom’s recipe. He likes it, but he likes KD (Canadian readers know what this is) better.  I just don’t get that. At all!

Mac& Cheese was not really a special occassion meal, but because everyone loved it so, it sort of became one.  When it was the family member who’s birthday, (or whatever we were celebrating) it was, would choose Mac & Cheese when asked what they would like for the special dinner.  And so we would sit in the dining room, with the good china, and the good silver feasting on mom’s Mac.

There are three secrets to the deliciousness of Mom’s Mac & Cheese: 

One: Don’t skimp on the cheese, and use old cheddar, for the best flavour. 

Two: Use a can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese soup mixed with an equal part of milk to achieve that maximum creaminess that is so important to a good Mac & Cheese.

Three: Broil for a couple of minutes (but watch it carefully, so as not to burn it) just before you remove from the oven.  That way, you have a good crunchy cheesy top.  Heaven!  That crunchy, broiled top was always my favourite part of the entire dish, and if I was lucky, those who really loved me, and who didn’t love the crunchy top quite as much as I, would give me their portion of this little piece of heaven.

I have to laugh now, because when I think about having this as a meal, I’m pretty positive that the Mac was the entire meal.  No vegetables on the side.  Who wanted vegetables when there was this lovely steaming mass of noodles and cheese waiting to be devoured?  Not me.  Not any of us, as I can recall.  Now, I do serve vegetables with my Mac, but that’s really just paying lip service to the idea that we need vegatables in our diet. The vegetables, however wonderful they are, are definitely an afterthought when it comes to a meal of Mac & Cheese.

The Mac was always baked in a huge, deep caserole dish, so we were pretty much guaranteed leftovers, which were every bit as delicious as the first go round.  I never minded being on dish duty when we had Mom’s Mac for dinner either, because it meant that I could pick at all the lovely crunchy bits that were stuck to the side of the caserole dish.  Added bonus!

Mom’s gone now, and we all, the kids and the grandkids, have many wonderful memories of her.  When I use her recipe to feed my own family now, it takes me back to my childhood and to her, and I smile as I tuck in to the best ever Mac & Cheese.  Think I’ll make some for dinner tomorrow!



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