Homemade Mac and Cheese

November 15, 2011

Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/homemade-mac-and-cheese/detail.aspx

I can’t take me anywhere.

I have been friends with my friend Tara for five years. Not once have I not gotten lost on my way to her house. Here’s some perspective: I once got so lost that I literally had to be found by a search party of other friends, describing my surroundings like a kidnapping victim. And last week I got so lost I was 45 minutes late to cook them dinner, and I lied and told them it was rain and traffic. The truth is I had gotten on the wrong highway altogether. Which is fine because its not like I’ve lived in this city for the vast majority of my life. Also a lie.

I showed up to the house in the trickling rain with my bag of ingredients for homemade mac and cheese. My other friends Cari and Tim, Tara’s husband, were in the living room, but I didn’t notice this. I B-Lined to Ivy Coraline, the lady of the hour, the reason for my visit, Tara and Tim’s brand spanking new little baby girl. Her pudgy pink face and squinty little eyes were resting on Cari’s shoulder. She was wearing a leopard print onesy proving that she is already far more chic than I will ever be. She was perfect.

I knew she would be, and I wanted to hold her so I came to the house with a strategy: Cook them dinner. Make them feel like it is a service to them. Then, when dinner is served, continue my martyrdom my offering to take the baby off their hands, and then don’t give her back until its time to leave.

The mac and cheese took a while. I had to boil the noodles, create roux with flour and butter, mix in the cheese and milk for the sauce, and then it had to cook for about 30 minutes.

I accidentally added way too much flour (a misread of the recipe). As my friends sat in the adjacent room, I frantically tried to save my cheese sauce which looked more like lumpy cafeteria stroganoff that would inevitably be served by a lady with a giant hairy mole.

Luckily I had enough ingredients to counteract the flour. I just added more milk and cheese, and it was still a bit lumpy, but still cheesy delicious. I lay the sauce over the freshly boiled noodles and stuck it in the oven.

Tara joined me in the kitchen in the interim. Though she was exhausted from the toils of child-rearing, motherhood looked good on my friend. She was a natural and she didn’t even know it. Tim, who was lounging with Cari in the living room, was practically glowing with joy over Ivy. It was almost too much awesome to handle.

Dinner was finally ready, which means I could phase in part two of my martyrdom strategy.

“Oh, let me take Ivy, you guys just enjoy your meal. You deserve a break. Really. Seriously. Give me the baby. Give her to me. Seriously. Tim? Seriously. Hand her over.”

While the three others enjoyed, or at least claimed to enjoy their mac, I held Ivy The thing with holding babies is there’s not a lot to say about it. Its not like Ivy was dancing the polka or practicing her yodel, which was frankly quite disappointing. But she was awesome without having to do anything to prove it. Like: “Yea, I’m gonna spit up on your shirt a little and then take my twentieth nap of the day, because I’m better than you bitches”. And she was, damn it.

Eventually I had to leave, and luckily this time I managed to let the baby go before I left. I’m just kidding. That’s never happened. Really it hasn’t. Really. Let me come over and hold your baby. Let me do it. Really. It never happened. Really.  It was a JOKE.

I said my goodbyes to my friends and headed into the night fog. As I walked to the car I realized I had forgotten my phone. Turning back towards the house, I paused as I looked through the window. Tara and Tim staring at Ivy, making the same stink face she was making. It was incredibly cinematic, as if Ivy’s whole life was playing right in front of me. And it was awesome.

Congrats Kothoffs.

On to the next one.



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