By Shya Gibbons
Macaroni and cheese. Mac and cheese. The good ol’ ‘roni. Whatever your family calls it, it doesn’t matter; while we all might call it different things, it is a dish loved by everyone. Whether you’re a two-year-old or a 92-year-old, you simply cannot beat a delicious bowl of the noodles with extra oodles of love.
I want to impart on you, dear readers, a recipe my family has passed on for generations. It is a crowd pleaser. It is a show stopper. It works as a side to a meal or even as a quick and easy lunch. One of the beauties of this dish is how versatile it is. Heck, maybe even spice it up by adding some cut up hotdogs to it. Far be it from me to judge!
Some of my fondest memories as a child involve macaroni and cheese. My grandfather had a garden to rival all gardens. There were always fresh vegetables and fruits. He grew rhubarb in his backyard that my grandmother would turn into strawberry rhubarb pie, which is still one of my favorite pies even decades later. When I close my eyes I can vividly remember the breathtaking sunsets we were fortunate enough to see.
After I would help weed or help pick ripe veggies, I’d go inside to happily wash up because the entire time I knew there would be a big, hot bowl of mac and cheese waiting for me. A dash of salt, a cold drink, and I was in Heaven.
As I grew older, I still found myself relying on my tried and true comfort food. My youth slowly but surely slipped away. While my love for playing with dolls or pretending to be a princess is far behind me, I’ve kept this dish near and dear to my heart.
Now at 33-years-old, I’ve passed the recipe on to my son. With the world in such a state of unease, it didn’t seem fair for me to sit on something that could bring joy and maybe a tad bit of comfort to hundreds, if not thousands, maybe even millions, of people. My hope is, by sharing this recipe, I’ll be able to spread a little bit of love around. Sprinkle love around the same way I sprinkle a teensy bit of salt on my cuisine. Sometimes, if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll even add a slight dash of pepper!
The process for this, as it is with any good dish, involves a lot of prep, supplies, and cook time. If you’re a parent, look at this as a way to spend time with your children. Some of the greatest bonds I’ve ever made have been formed while cooking over a hot stove.
As sure as the sun will set and the moon will rise, this recipe is guaranteed to impress everyone who tastes it. There really isn’t anything quite like some comfort food.
To make this you will need the following:
-One (1) stove.
-One (1) pot.
-One (1) box of macaroni and cheese. Any brand will do. I prefer ones shaped like popular cartoon characters, but if you feel safe sticking with the traditional elbow shaped macaroni, go for it!
Here is where it gets complicated. This process and order are crucial to keeping the integrity of the meal intact.
First, fill the pot with water. Second, set the full pot of water on the stove and turn on the corresponding burner. Got it so far? Double check to make sure you have the right burner activated. Even a culinary genius such as myself turns on the wrong burner from time to time. Third, wait for the water to boil and then add the contents of boxed macaroni and cheese. Once the noodles are cooked to your preferred texture, strain the noodles, put them back into the pot, and follow the directions on the box to achieve the desired result. Lastly, plate your masterpiece and decide if you’re more of a fork user or spoon user- these are two of the most common choices, but if you prefer to shove handfuls in your mouth, that also works, too.
Voila! You did it! You are a rockstar who can conquer anything now. I’m eternally grateful to have you welcome me into your kitchen to assist with the meal. Just remember, if at any point you become confused, always refer back to the directions on the box.
If you enjoyed this recipe, tune in next week to find out the secrets behind how to make the absolute best bowl of cereal you have ever tasted.
About the Author
Shya Gibbons is founder of Vintage Dreams With A Modern Twist. She is a contributor to the books I Just Want To Be Perfect and You Do You. Her work has appeared on Sammiches & Psych Meds, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Today Parents, and The Mighty. She is happily married to an incredible man who doubles as her best friend. They have a six-year-old little boy who lights up their life. Check out her work at www.facebook.com/VintageDreamsWithAModernTwist. Tell her hi when you stop by, she loves meeting new people!