Monday, November 26, 2007

Who Made The Mac & Cheese?

Why the Mack, Of Course
© 2007 Leighann Lord

On Thanksgiving I was most grateful that the family dinner was not at my house. With all the shopping, cooking and cleaning I'm ready for folks to leave before they ring the bell.

This year my Cousin graciously invited us all to her home for Thanksgiving, and asked us to bring a dish. When people ask us to bring a dish, they don’t mean me. They mean my Husband. I'm a good cook, but he’s an excellent cook. Over time, our kitchen has become his kitchen and my culinary skills have become rusty. I can still make a mean pot of pasta but man can not live by carbs alone.

My Husband's cooking capabilities are well known. My girlfriends love his Israeli Salad. I don't know all what he puts in it, but I'm pretty sure one of the ingredients must be crack, because once you start eating it you can't stop. I was threatened with the end of life long friendships if I didn’t come across with the recipe. I did, of course. My Husband is always happy to share, but personally, I think stuff tastes better when other people make it.

My Mom's side of the family still speaks quite fondly of the ribs my Husband made one Christmas – pork, beef, AND lamb – with home made barbeque sauce. I, not so fondly, remember shopping with him for all the ingredients he needed to make said sauce. After the third store I asked why he didn’t just buy plain old barbeque sauce. Time stopped, the sky grew dark and he gave me a look that made my blood run cold. I believe this was the same look given to witches by the Inquisition before they were burned at the stake.

When my Cousin called to invite us for Thanksgiving dinner she asked my Husband to make The Mac & Cheese. Uh oh. I was worried. Excellent cook that he is, he's never made Mac & Cheese. That's my fault. I’m not a fan of The Mac. Actually The Mac is fine, it's The Cheese I can't stand. I’ll eat pizza, but no Mac & Cheese, cheese burgers, cheese fries, cheese cake, cheese doodles, Cheez-Its® or Cheez Whiz®.

Although my Husband often whips up new dishes for me to try, he won't make anything he knows I hate. It's not just wasting food, but I'm sure he got tired of seeing me pout like a five-year-old whenever he put something on my plate I wouldn't eat.

The center piece of the Thanksgiving meal is the turkey, but the importance of the accompanying dishes can not be underestimated. A family favorite like Mac & Cheese can make or break the meal and your reputation. Mess it up and you'll never live it down. Children yet to be born into the family will know that Aunt or Uncle Whoever makes the worst whatchamacalit. I was worried about my Husband’s culinary legacy, and by extension my own.
"You messed up the Mac & Cheese!"
"Me? I didn’t make it. My Husband did."
"Yeah, but you married him!"
Oh the shame, but my in-house chef did not disappoint. I'm proud to say he threw it down like a pro and his Mac & Cheese was a hit with The Fam. It may not reach the legendary status of his ribs, but The Mack made good. The Mac & Cheese was so tasty I was sorry we didn't bring any back home. That's the bad part about not having Thanksgiving dinner at your house: No left overs to nibble on later. No worries though; The Mack made another batch just for me. Ain’t love grand?

I’m still not a complete Mac & Cheese convert. I’ll only eat it now if I know my Husband made it. Everybody else will still get the pout.

Now that he's proven himself, I have a feeling my husband will be asked to make the Christmas Mac & Cheese. And I'll be ready just in case anyone wants me to make my famous Holiday Spaghetti.

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