Okay, after all that rending of garments and gnashing of teeth, I got inspired by the Rotund’s love of pot roast and thought of something to post about: Macaroni and cheese.
Macaroni and cheese is my favorite food, and has been for as long as I can remember. In my family, oven-baked mac and cheese was a special occasion dinner staple. No Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter dinners were complete without a hot dish of ooey, goey noodles and cheese topped with a crunchy crust. I started looking forward to any holiday dinners months in advance because I couldn’t even fathom how to make macaroni and cheese happen all by myself, plus? Mac and cheese is like the worst and most evil fat-making food in the world and if I ever ate it on a day that was not a major holiday I would suddenly swell to roughly the size of house and nobody would love me anymore. Yeah!
As an adult, I have made macaroni and cheese, to varying levels of success, a number of times. The version I made the most is a Weight Watchers recipe that was actually pretty decent, all things considered. Most recently, I made the Cook’s Illustrated version and it was close, but not quite perfect – too creamy, and the breadcrumb topping tasted like bread.
And so, for love of cooking and food and to prove to myself that macaroni and cheese is not evil but rather possibly the most perfect distillation of all that is good and right on earth, I am now on a mission and that mission is this: create the perfect macaroni and cheese. I want to make a mac and cheese that evokes the magical casseroles of my childhood, that lives up to my memories, that is super delicious, that my hypothetical grandchildren will demand the recipe to lest I take the secret of such an amazing foodstuff to my grave.
I plan to try different cheeses, different shapes of pasta, different binding agents, different sauce bases, and different toppings. I’ve got a block of two year cheddar that I bought at the Federal Plaza farmer’s market today and will sally forth this weekend. I will, of course, document my progress here.
If nothing else, this can be Ottermatic’s Macaroni and Cheese Blog.
So, mac and cheese fans, if you have any recipes to share, suggestions, or just want to revel in a shared love of cheesy pasta casserole, comment away!