Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mac & Chee-zzzzzzz

I'm too tired to drag out the camera to take photos. I really wanted to, but now that I've finally sat my butt down I really don't want to get back up again.

I had a good amount of "random cheese" in the fridge that's getting close to critical-usage stage. It wasn't just one kind of cheese, because that would have been too easy. No, I had some mild cheddar, some sharp cheddar, some jack, some blue, and some cream cheese.

While "at work" today I pondered what to do with all that cheese.
(I put 'at work' in quotes because I work from home, so I'm not really physically somewhere else than a few feet from my kitchen. I'm generally too busy to cook during the day, though, so I am, in a sense, at work.)
Cheese, cheese, cheese. We love cheese, and we love food made with much cheese in it. What to do with something close to a pound of random cheese?
The weather's actually cold right now, so cheese soup might be good. But cheese soup never reheats well, and this is a lot of random cheese. No soup for me.
A casserole of some sort? That's nice & easy, and I had a bunch of errands to run after work, so easy is good. Meh. I slacked on grocery shopping last weekend and the only veggies in the kitchen are onions and potatoes. And all the meat is in the freezer. Oops. No casserole.
Ooooh, hey. Mac & cheese! I have much macaroni, I have milk, I have cheese. It reheats well, and everyone loves mac & cheese!!

So I did my errands and made some phone calls and finally got to work on the goodies.

One pound of macaroni noodles into some boiling water.
A roux with 2 T butter and 2 T flour. Whisk that while cradling the phone between my shoulder and ear, mixing and listening to my nephew tell me about his Heelys.
Slowly add milk, still whisking and still with the phone between shoulder and ear. My neck starts to cramp but I don't have a free hand to do anything about it. The B├ęchamel comes to a simmer and thickens, so I add more milk whilst chatting with my mom.
AHHH! Stupid cordless phone! The battery died! I hurriedly whisk in the next bit of milk and run to the bedroom to get my cell phone. I run back to the kitchen, tucking the phone against my right ear this time.
My mom tells me about making homemade mac & cheese when she was in high school while I slowly add in the leftover mild cheddar and the jack - both shredded. Mom used plain ol' American cheese in hers, but thinks that my random cheese mix sounds like it'll be pretty good.
I add the crumbled blue cheese and whisk some more, then add some cream cheese that I've hacked up into little bits.
Hey, I'm pretty good at chatting while cooking. I add some more milk to make room for the sharp cheddar while I boast about the dozen roses Kevin brought me today. I briefly contemplate getting the camera out but get sidetracked by conversation and sharp cheddar.
A healthy dollop of mustard - champagne dill Dijon from Biltmore Estate, which, yes, is that good - and a few(dozen) grinds of pepper.
I start unconsciously telling my mom what I'm doing in broken sentences: "Gotta get a spoon for the mustard. One spoon of mustard...hmm, maybe another one. Aaaannnd some more the salt...salt salt salt...hmm needs some more salt. Needs something else...oooh, some dry mustard would be good...mustard mustard mustard. Do do de do, stir stir...."
"Oh damn, that's good...."
She laughs at me, but she's used to it. We kind of have a running joke where I call her up and list off what's in the freezer, or on the baker's rack, or in the spice cabinet.
Silently, I ponder whether it could use a shot of hot sauce or not and decide that no, it's quite good how it is right now. I pour the sauce over the cooked macaroni and mix, then scoop some into a bowl and - rather impolitely - continue my conversation with Mom while stuffing my face.

I finally sit down after like 4 hours of running around and decide that I'm not going to bother with the camera right now.
Maybe tomorrow. I have plenty left over.

In other news, hello to new visitors here in Bizarre-land! *waves shyly*
It seems that I've been getting some newcomers from this month's DMBLGIT and that makes me happy. I guess I'm not one to tread lightly, so after having this blog thing for like a month I went ahead and entered my first ever blog event.

To be honest, I don't think I stand a chance against the other amazing entries. Jeez, just look at those pictures!! My humble li'l cheesecake photo compared to the incredible talent of everyone else? Heh.
But that's okay. It honestly makes my day to see a new comment from some of the bloggers I've been reading (and admiring) for months now. :)


wheresmymind said...

I often wonder what to do with that spare pound of cheese sitting around my condo! ;) Next time..pix!

Beth said...

I have been working to perfect my homemade Mac & Cheese recipe too - motivated by a 2-year-old who eats little else.

I use a mix of American and sharp cheddar (both delivered by the local dairy farm - this is no supermarket American cheese!) and heavy cream (also direct from the farm). When making for a toddler, I just melt the cheese and cream together on half power in the microwave. When making for adults, I get creative with the onion, garlic, asafoetida, mustard, etc. When I bake, I create a crust of buttered rye bread crumbs on top. Yummy!