Here's the thing - I love to eat.
I love to buy expensive cookware.
I've discovered I really like to cook.
But, I loathe the grocery store.
And, I'd rather gouge my own eyes out with a pair of All-Clad locking stainless steel tongs than go to any farmer's market. I mean, seriously. Is it organic just because it still has dirt on it? Is it a rule that women selling home-grown food from a stall can't have shaved their armpits since the Carter administration?
So, you get I hate shopping for groceries of any kind, anywhere.
But, there I was - navigating through the grocery store with my usual churlishness. Prisoners trudge to the electric chair with more vigor. Anyhoo, while trying to decide between no fat yogurt and a donut, I saw it.
I think I've mentioned before that I suck at food blogging because I can't get the photo part down. I digress...what I saw was not the pasta, but the bag of Mac & Cheese blend on the right.
My life changed right then and there. God spoke to me.
As any self respecting cook can tell you, good homemade macaroni and cheese is as elusive as a cheerful nun. I've tried them all. I've used every combination of expensive cheese you can think of. Blue, Gruyere, Swiss, Cheddar and don't forget Goat. I've added caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms, pancetta, lobster. No matter. Not one combo was worth the effort.
I might as well disclose that I am a HUGE fan of the boxed Mac & Cheese in the box with the little packet of pulverized cheese product and salt. Let's face it, any food item that requires 1/3 cup of milk and half a stick of butter is good eatin' in my book. I'm gonna assume you feel the same, whether or not you want to admit it.
So, while suffering at the altar of Von's, God told me the secret to the world's best Mac & Cheese - American Cheese. God also said He didn't think American was really a cheese, but WTF? God totally says WTF. I know it was God because he told me to go ahead and get the donut - not the non-fat yogurt - and a pack of already grated American cheese made especially for Mac & Cheese.
Since this was the first time God had ever spoken to me directly, I perked right up.
I scurried home faster than Spartacus on the last lap of the chariot race to make the best Mac & Cheese known to man and the angels. Ahhh...but how? Well, I had no idea. Then, God spoke to me again...and you guessed it..."1/3 cup of milk and 1/2 stick of butter," He said. I boiled half a box of pasta, drained it, then realized like I usually do, God doesn't know everything.
I plopped the cooked pasta (feel free to use any shape) back into the pot, tossed a couple big handfuls of the cheese mix and a couple splashes of cream. Stirred it around, threw on some salt and pepper and called it good.
Let the church say, "Amen." Best ever. Right up there with the boxed kind. I know, I know, why make anything but the boxed kind if it's near perfection as is? I'm glad you asked.
Because you get to lord it over everyone that you make Mac & Cheese from scratch. What other reason do you need?
It's a big bowl of beautiful, isn't it? And, if you're prone to frippery, feel free to add anything you want. Bacon comes to mind. But, it always does, doesn't it?
I apologize that there really isn't a recipe, but you know how God is. He likes to stay ambiguous so everyone can interpret what He says however they want. Feel free to contact me if you're confused and I'll tell you what He really means. That's what I do for Hubby all the time.
My upcoming novel Flesh of My Flesh stars Delilah, a fictional TV Chef who stirs up a whole lot of trouble and a little food. Probably better than you'll find here. These recipes are inspired by her, my love of food and overall laziness.