Thinking outside the box
Macaroni and cheese is one of my very favorite things about the South. One of my other favorite things is that it’s served just about everywhere you go down here. There’s not a potluck dinner, church social, cookout, house party, cafeteria, or buffet where a steaming casserole dish of macaroni and cheese isn’t served.
But none of it ever originated in a box pulled off a grocery store shelf. No, siree! Dixie natives only eat bona fide homemade macaroni and cheese. For Southerners and transplants like me, it’s practically sacrilegious to bring a box of manufactured macaroni and cheese into the house.
I don’t have a recipe that was handed down from my mother or grandmother. My dad didn’t like macaroni and cheese, so Mom didn’t make it very often. She stooped to making it in her slow cooker a few times, which makes the noodles too soggy. (Sorry, Mom!) For many years I made the recipe in the classic Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, and it’s delicious. But after we moved South, I realized I had to get serious if I was going to keep up with the Joneses. I eventually found a recipe that causes my kids and me to salivate when we even think about it. I’m going to share it with you with a promise to not omit any secret ingredient, a trick some mothers-in-law like to pull. As a matter of fact, I’ll share my secret ingredient: I substitute Monterey pepper Jack cheese for the sharp cheddar.
I’m not saying my recipe is the best. I’m saying my family and everyone I’ve ever served it to loves it. As a matter of fact, if you have a macaroni and cheese recipe that you think deserves recognition, send it to me and I’ll make it for my family. Then I’ll let you know how we liked it. I’ll also share it with my subscribers if you want me to, with or without your secret ingredient.
Bon appetite, y’all!