Monday, July 6, 2015

Mac N Cheese

Tonight is the first night of alone-ness.  All four of my kids are at “Grandma Camp” for the week and my husband is not feeling well so he went to bed at about 6 o’clock.  So here I am all by myself.  I can’t remember the last time this has happened.  I can actually touch the remote! What??!! 

At first I felt a sense of elation.  It happened before I even made it home while I was going grocery shopping without kids.  It only lasted for about 5 seconds, but I felt it! Elation at shopping without kids.  Then I remembered something I forgot at the other side of the store and had to turn my really heavy grocery basket around and the elation left.  But it felt great while it lasted!

After my husband went to bed, I decided to get caught up on watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix, but I couldn’t figure out the Xbox controller to turn on my hubby's Xbox because his control has no letters on the buttons.  It took me several minutes of pressing plain silver buttons to sign him out of his Destiny game and find Netflix.  I went back and forth between the same two screens several times. But I finally found my Gilmore Girls!

I got hungry after watching a couple of episodes.  It was 8 o’clock, and I argued with myself for a few minutes about whether I should start cooking at that time, but hey, since I am all alone, why not get crazy and cook some mac n cheese.  So here is were this story really gets interesting.  So, I kind of, ahem, forgot to pay the gas bill and it got cut off, so I couldn’t boil the water for the mac on the stove.  I had to use a burner thing that my mother in law was gracious enough to let us borrow ages ago that I never returned and still had stored up in the top cabinet of my kitchen.  And since the burner thing doesn’t get as hot as the regular stove top, it took about an hour for my water to boil for my macaroni.  I watched the episode of GG where Loralai’s grandmother died and most of the one where Rory goes to spring break before I even saw bubbles.

I was kind of excited to even see some bubbles.  I was beginning to think that this burner thing wasn't going to work after all.  I sat back down to finish watching Rory and Loralai's antics when I was suddenly surprised by complete darkness.  Oh great, the power's out, I thought.  But no, there is a light coming from the coffee maker.  I looked around and only certain lights were out.  That meant it was a breaker. Apparently the burner thing uses too much power to be on the same side of the kitchen as the dishwasher.  I felt around for my phone to use the screen as a light so that I could find the breaker.  I went from one end of the couch where I had been sitting to the other.  No phone.  What did I do with it? I just had it.  I tried several different light switches and, of course, none of them worked.  The bathroom light worked and so did the coffee maker.  But none that would provide a source of light in the bedroom where the breaker box is.  So, I stumbled over toys that my kids 'forgot' to put away before going to Grandma's and barely made it without falling down.  I opened the closet door and felt around in the dark until my hand contacted the cold metal of the box. I remembered that when the breaker blew last time, we flipped one of the bottom breakers and it turned on, so I started from the bottom of the breaker.  Luckily, it was the second to last so it came right on.  Back to the living room.  Oh, there it is! My phone was on the ottoman. 

I finally got the noodles cooked and it was time to make the cheese sauce.  Ok, time out for a second. There is something I need to explain.  I am allergic to wheat so I have to eat completely gluten free. I stopped buying expensive boxes of gluten free mac n cheese years ago because I refuse to pay five dollars for three noodles and a packet of cheese powder. So now I try to make it from scratch, but I am not very good at it so every time I make mac n cheese its an experiment on how to make cheese sauce. Yes, I know, I can look up a recipe online, but what’s the fun in that? Over the weekend, my sister from California and I had a conversation about how to make a good cheese sauce which is probably why I had a craving for mac n cheese.  Except we were talking about how to make queso dip.  Anyway, we disagreed about how to start the sauce.  She told me that it starts with Béchamel. She is absolutely right, except that I am from Louisiana so I start with roux.

    I got the butter out of the fridge and cut off half a stick and threw it into the pan.  I decided it didn’t look like enough so I threw in the other half.  I had a cup of gluten free flour left in the GF Bisquick box after making pancakes last weekend, and it looked like the right amount so I threw that in there to make my roux.  I mixed it in with the butter and it did just fine.  Then I added some milk to make it creamy.  After stirring in the milk, it started looking more like biscuits than roux.  I added a little more milk.  Still looked like a big biscuit.  I ended up adding the rest of the milk that I had in the half gallon jug, which was about three cups.  Now my cheese sauce to macaroni ratio is way off.  All I needed was about a cup of cheese sauce for my noodles, but between the flour and the milk and the fact that it grew like a biscuit, there was about 6 cups of cheese sauce.  So, I removed almost all of the cheese sauce and added the noodles to the remaining sauce. 

The mac n cheese was pretty good.  Tomorrow I think I’ll make some queso. 

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