Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Moooooooo La La La La Marvelous Mac!!!

WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS POST ON AN EMPTY STOMACH! If you're not a foodie as well as a stamper, skip down about halfway to see a new set of stamps that came in the mail today. The main content of this post, however, is the story of an AMAZING macaroni and cheese experience my family had this evening. Try not to drool on your keyboard as you read!

A few days ago, my friend Lydia posted this picture on her blog and taunted her readers with this caption: "Are you jealous? You should be. You should covet my mac & cheese." I was not the only one who responded to this by pleading with her for the recipe. Being that she's a good sharer and plays well with others, she obliged.

Armed with the ingredients list, I trotted off to the grocery Sunday afternoon. Imagine my sticker shock when I began adding items to my cart!! Yes, the sum total of JUST THE CHEESE was $26.67! But I wanted to KNOW if this macaroni & cheese was as near to a controlled substance as she said it was, so I put those thoughts about this meal costing as much as 8 gallons of gas out of my head. I loaded everything perishable into the fridge when I got home and waited for a reasonable amount of time to occur in my schedule so that I could enjoy the crafting of this dish.

This afternoon I could stand it no longer. I didn't have a leisurely amount of time I was wanting, though. I had 1 hour to get dinner on the table, and I decided it was time to see if this dish lived up to the hype.

I shredded cheese with abandon while the roux and whole milk simmered on the stovetop. My red tri Aussie Carly was right underfoot, very quietly licking up the cheese fragments that fell to the floor so that our other dog, Shadow, would not get in on these marvelous morsels. I had everything ready to go by 5:24 pm, so I stuck it into the oven for its 30 min. baking time and moved on to the rest of dinner.

Oh, and I also took a few minutes to mount these stamps that arrived today!! This is the set that was handed out to all demonstrators FREE at the last session of convention. They are a gift from UPS called Say it with Scallops. This set is our Ronald McDonald House charities set as well. More on that later...

Back to our story...this is what my macaroni & cheese looked like when I pulled it from the oven. Lydia's recipe calls for cubed bread to soak up any excess butter that comes to the surface during cooking, but my Dad's mom used saltine crumbs, so did the same.

OOOOOOHHHHHHH MMMYYYYYYYYY WWWWWOOOOOORRRRDDDDD!!! This macaroni & cheese should be a controlled substance! Our 13-year-old son called it Crack Macaroni. He had 3 helpings and I had to swat his fingers away from grabbing a few more nibbles. The only word that really describes this is WOW. The blend of the three cheeses is just right, and the mouth feel is velvety. Food memories are powerful things, but hard to recapture once the person who made the dish has passed away. This macaroni & cheese brought back wonderful memories of my Grandma Blum. She used to make it from scratch and paired it with fried liver. That may wreck the entire image for you, but it's my food memory, so deal!

Do whatever you have to do to give this dish a try. The only caveat to the recipe I'd make is that I made half a recipe of the sauce, and I still needed 1 lb. of noodles.

It's my turn to taunt you. What are you gonna do?


Lydia said...

I'm BLUSHING!!!!!!! I'm so glad you liked it!! Please tell Michael in my house it will forever more be called CRACKARONI!!!

sandra said...

from the picture and the description of Michaels' reaction I can imagine how good it could be, but I'm not crazy about Mac and cheese (maybe because I'm Italian????)and even my husband (who is american) and my daughter are not crazy about it. I know: we are a weird family!!!!

Betty O said...

Oh, Jenn, you brought back such memories. 10 years ago I watched an Oprah show with Patti LaBelle on it and they made her "Over-the Rainbow Macaroni & Cheese". (You can find the recipe on the Oprah site.) Her recipe had 6 different cheeses in it. I had told my daughter about it and she asked if I would make it for her wedding rehearsal dinner. I ended up making three 15"x30" pans of it and it cost me over $200 to just make the darn Mac & Cheese. I must say that it was delicious, but almost a sin to eat much of it. by the end of the evening every morsel was gone! I agree with Michael that Crackaroni would be an excellent name for such tasty Mac & Cheese!

Amy said...

Thanks for passing along this recipe. We made it for dinner this week and it was spectacular! Even better, it passed the leftover, reheating test, too :-)