The other day I had a flashback to the first time I made Mac'N'Cheese.
It was circa 1997 and I was about 15 or 16. My job that evening was at the neighbor's house babysitting their 7 year old daughter. As her mom ran through everything, she indicated dinner was to be... you guessed it, Mac'N'Cheese. Simple enough, right?
I was too embarrassed to tell her I had no idea how to make it. I don't think I had cooked much at all by that age save for random breads and chocolate chip cookies. Odd, given that my mom made everything from scratch and canned loads of food! I decided to just wing it.
That's where the memories get a little fuzzy. I'm not entirely sure I realized there were directions on the box. I do remember a casserole dish and the mircrowave were involved. The smell. While difficult to describe, it's hard to forget even 13 years later. Burned noodles. Really, really burned noodles. In fake cheese powder and milk.
There was nothing else in the house for me to make this poor kid(and myself) so I opted to try and make it more palatable. Via Cheeze Whiz. I took a can of Cheeze Whiz and carefully spread a layer on the top. Brilliant!
Bless her heart, she tried to eat it. She assured me it was good at the first bite. After the 3rd bite, I could tell she was struggling and told her she didn't need to eat any more. You'd think after all of that I'd remember what it tasted like, but I don't. Might be a coping mechanism?
My mom and the neighbor lady had a good laugh at my expense later. And mom made me learn how to make a box of Mac'N'Cheese. I'm not sure I was asked to make dinner there again, though.
Just goes to show, we all have to start somewhere! While growing up with Julia Child might make learning to cook easier, you can start at any point in your life. I know I post a lot of complex sounding, generally healthy recipes, but in truth they aren't(complex or fancy). I just found my niche. Practice, practice, practice and you'll find your taste niche, too.
Now please tell me I'm not the only one to have tried making Mac'N'Cheese in the microwave?
Thursday, December 23, 2010
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