Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mom, Dad and the Spicy Macaroni

Word came to me that Mom and Dad had another dinner disagreement. I guess the other night she decided to make macaroni and cheese. She had a recipe for it (though why you need a recipe is beyond me, unless you've never made it from scratch before), so she went to town (no, she didn't actually go to town) and started raiding the refrigerator for ingredients.

Now, if you've got a recipe, you'd think you would follow it, but Mom has her own ideas. Though she relies on her collection of cookbooks (her kitchen crutches), she insists on altering almost every recipe she uses. This time she decided to add some tomato sauce and some Mexican-style chorizo Dad had purchased. After that she went to town again and added lots of spices. Then she covered the whole thing with more cheese and some bread crumbs. It then went into the oven in its casserole dish to bake.

Dad's been trying to avoid carbs as much as possible, so a pasta dish was not something he really wanted to eat (though I must say, I love mac and cheese; one of the best comfort foods of all time). Nevertheless, when it was ready he filled a big bowl with the stuff.

The next day he complained of being up all night with heartburn. At dinner that night Dad heated up some leftover beans and some ground turkey, adding a bit of coleslaw to the mixture. Mom came out to see what he was up to.

"What about the macaroni," she asked. "I made a bunch so we could have it for several meals. I don't have a lot of food in the house you know."

"It made me sick," Dad replied.

"Well, there was nothing bad in it. Probably if it made you sick it was that strange meat you had that I added to it," she said.

"Strange meat?" Dad said. "That was chorizo. They sell a lot of it at the market where I bought it. Nothing wrong with it at all. It was just all the spice you put in it."

Mom looked at Dad's bowl of mystery food. "What's that? If anything's going to make you sick, it's that that you're eating. That macaroni and cheese had all the cheese in it. I put it all in. I don't know why you can't eat something good instead of whatever that is. Looks like dog food!"

Dad looked up from his bowl. "If it's so great, why don't you have some. There's enough left over to feed an army. I don't know why you make so much, because you never eat the leftovers. You always have to make something new."

I have to agree with Dad on that one. Mom always makes way too much food for a single meal. Then after everyone is done eating, she carefully wraps it all up and puts it away in the fridge. After a week or so of just sitting in there, she dumps it into the trash can.

"That's not true," Mom answered. Then she went to the cupboard and retrieved a box of frosted flakes and poured herself a bowl of cereal for dinner.

For those of you who do follow recipes and want to avoid something resembling my mom's lasted culinary creation, here's a link to some hopefully great and comforting versions of the classic dish:

The Best Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

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