Friday, January 24, 2014

How to Make Real Mac'n'cheese

These are instructions on how to make a perfect bowl of real mac'n'cheese. I have found that many people are misguided as to the proper ingredients, amounts, and even goals of mac'n'cheese-making. This is an art form: learn do it well.*

Disclaimer: If these instructions are not followed explicitly, I cannot guarantee mac'n'cheese that is (a) palatable or (b) irresistible. Consequences can include lack of weight gain and insufficient incentive to finish off the entire bowl.

  1. Proper mac'n'cheese must be obtained at your local grocery store under the brand Kraft. No other brand will suffice. Please do not try the grocer story knock-off brand; that is an insult. Annie's can work, but only if you obtain a box of White Shells and Cheddar.
  2. Pour noodles and prescribed amount of water into microwave safe dish and microwave for given amount of time. DO NOT cook the noodles on the stove. Proper mac'n'cheese is made by a good nuking in the M.W.
  3. Before beginning cooking, add frozen peas. Suggested portion: half a cup. More is allowed; half a cup is suggested if you are new to the combination of peas and mac. Do not use less than one half cup or there won't be enough. This is very important. Do not add the peas later, or they will still be cold when the mac'n'cheese has been assembled.

    *Note: success with including other forms of vegetable matter is iffy, especially if you are feeding this to children.
  4. You may also add ham (added later when administering dried cheese particles), but it must be real, chunky ham; no lunch meat. Chicken, beans, or other forms of protein are strictly forbidden.
  5. Once nuked properly, add butter as recommended. Do not think you can avoid butter and just add extra milk; you will fail utterly at making real mac'n'cheese. Put in the prescribed amount of butter and stir thoroughly. It helps to cut the butter into small pieces in order to speed up melting. Add an extra half-tablespoon of butter if desired.
  6. Now add cheese packet. This is essential: real mac'n'cheese is not made with real cheese, contrary to popular mythology. You must have those overly-orange, dried particles in order to have real mac. Mix in all cheese particles until all traces of powder are dissolved and a clumpy sauce begins to form.
  7. Input milk. It must be either Whole or 2%. Anything less is an insult to all dairy-lovers everywhere. You aren't eating mac'n'cheese to loose weight, for heaven's sake. Stop kidding yourself and use the real stuff. If you're going to die, you might as well enjoy it.

    Do not worry about using measuring cups here. I think we can apply the old adage "waste not, want not" and skip extra dishes that must be cleaned later. Just pour in a smidge; stir. Repeat until desired consistency is obtained.
  8. Your mac'n'cheese is now ready to eat. Eat it immediately, while still warm. If you find it necessary, eat in the pantry in order to avoid detection by other family members. We recommend eating with a small spoon, not a soup spoon, so that it takes longer to eat it all and it can be more fully enjoyed.
Good luck, and remember: he who leaveth leftovers gets what is coming to him. Go to town on that bowl, friend, and learn what it means to eat real mac'n'cheese.

*You can trust my expertise in this area as I am an accomplished mac'n'cheese maker: I make a personal-size bowl for myself about every other day for lunch.