Author Topic: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese  (Read 17254 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1152
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #105 on: January 06, 2013, 03:16:49 PM »
I'm glad I waded through the whole thread. When I read the OP I thought the SIL was rude, but now I think a miscommunication occurred.

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea that 'homemade mac-n-cheese' was different than 'boxed'. It's all made at 'home', right?

The concept of a gooey, lasagna-style dish of it with different types of ingredients was alien to me. I was in my early 30's before I ever tried it. Delish, btw.

So, to be fair, I might have been that clueless. And I might have reasoned on bringing the box cuz the boxed stuff doesn't taste so good if it cools down and keeping it warm is bit of a conundrum. I would have brought the milk, butter and pan though and asked to cook it. And probably not perceived the quizzical looks from my in-laws!

To illustrate my ignorance:

About 12 years or so ago, we had two couples over for dinner. Couple A, were our best friends and Couple B, people we really liked but didn't know as well. I'd roasted a couple of chickens, made mashed potatoes, green beans, homemade rolls and a Lindy's style cheesecake for dessert. Not a huge fan of roasted chicken and don't care for mashed potatoes but I felt it was a safe menu.

A few minutes into dinner, Phil (husband of couple A) asks, "Where is the gravy?" (Couple B's shoulders jerk and they snort but keep eating).

I responded, "I do not like gravy. So I didn't make it." Couple B is now outright giggling but dutifully plowing through their food.

Phil said, "You don't like gravy? But you can't have roast bird and mashed potatoes w/o gravy."

Phil's wife, Jenny, interjected: "Phil, shut up."

I smiled and then started to laugh, "I'm really sorry. I don't even know how to make gravy but I should have tried to figure it out. I promise next time I'll make you gravy!"

They liked everything else and we had beer and wine and good coffee to wash everything down so all was well but looking back I'm still a hair embarrassed about not even giving thought to gravy because I didn't like it. They forgave my cluelessness.

And this was before it was common to look things up on Google.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 03:19:02 PM by bloo »

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8713
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #106 on: January 06, 2013, 03:31:40 PM »
I'm glad I waded through the whole thread. When I read the OP I thought the SIL was rude, but now I think a miscommunication occurred.

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea that 'homemade mac-n-cheese' was different than 'boxed'. It's all made at 'home', right?

The concept of a gooey, lasagna-style dish of it with different types of ingredients was alien to me. I was in my early 30's before I ever tried it. Delish, btw.

So, to be fair, I might have been that clueless. And I might have reasoned on bringing the box cuz the boxed stuff doesn't taste so good if it cools down and keeping it warm is bit of a conundrum. I would have brought the milk, butter and pan though and asked to cook it. And probably not perceived the quizzical looks from my in-laws!

 :) Yeah, I really don't think any of us were trying to say it would have been rude to make mac and cheese from the box rather than make it from scratch. When we criticized her for bringing it in the box, it was because she brought it literally still in the box and expected the hostess to cook it. If she'd brought the other supplies and asked to cook it there, because we all know it's better fresh, it wouldn't have been nearly as annoying. By the same token, it's not rude if someone makes brownies from a Betty Crocker mix and brings them to a party. It's rude if they bring a Betty Crocker box and say "here, make this" to the hostess.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3663
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #107 on: January 06, 2013, 04:01:47 PM »
Ok, I just have to comment on bloo's story. I think that both husband A and couple B were all incredibly rude! I'm a pretty experienced cook and to be honest, it never would have occurred to me to make gravy for the meal you described. And I love gravy! As the cook, you get to decide your own menu and the guests should have enough courtesy, grace and gratitude to eat what's been prepared for them without negative comment. I would not have been embarrassed had I been you, except to be embarrassed on behalf of guests who have no clue how to behave when invited to someone's house for dinner. And I can tell you those folks would never have been subjected to another meal at my house, with or without gravy.

Oh, and by the way, I don't cook things I don't like. I know a lot of people do and I think it's very gracious of them to do so, but I like to eat what I cook and I also would never serve something to a guest that I wouldn't eat so the idea of cooking something I don't like doesn't work for me.

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1152
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #108 on: January 06, 2013, 04:15:27 PM »
I'm glad I waded through the whole thread. When I read the OP I thought the SIL was rude, but now I think a miscommunication occurred.

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea that 'homemade mac-n-cheese' was different than 'boxed'. It's all made at 'home', right?

The concept of a gooey, lasagna-style dish of it with different types of ingredients was alien to me. I was in my early 30's before I ever tried it. Delish, btw.

So, to be fair, I might have been that clueless. And I might have reasoned on bringing the box cuz the boxed stuff doesn't taste so good if it cools down and keeping it warm is bit of a conundrum. I would have brought the milk, butter and pan though and asked to cook it. And probably not perceived the quizzical looks from my in-laws!

 :) Yeah, I really don't think any of us were trying to say it would have been rude to make mac and cheese from the box rather than make it from scratch. When we criticized her for bringing it in the box, it was because she brought it literally still in the box and expected the hostess to cook it. If she'd brought the other supplies and asked to cook it there, because we all know it's better fresh, it wouldn't have been nearly as annoying. By the same token, it's not rude if someone makes brownies from a Betty Crocker mix and brings them to a party. It's rude if they bring a Betty Crocker box and say "here, make this" to the hostess.

Totally agree.

Ok, I just have to comment on bloo's story. I think that both husband A and couple B were all incredibly rude! I'm a pretty experienced cook and to be honest, it never would have occurred to me to make gravy for the meal you described. And I love gravy! As the cook, you get to decide your own menu and the guests should have enough courtesy, grace and gratitude to eat what's been prepared for them without negative comment. I would not have been embarrassed had I been you, except to be embarrassed on behalf of guests who have no clue how to behave when invited to someone's house for dinner. And I can tell you those folks would never have been subjected to another meal at my house, with or without gravy.

Oh, and by the way, I don't cook things I don't like. I know a lot of people do and I think it's very gracious of them to do so, but I like to eat what I cook and I also would never serve something to a guest that I wouldn't eat so the idea of cooking something I don't like doesn't work for me.

I can see by re-reading how that came across. If someone else had wrote this I might feel the same way. Couple A were like family to me and Phil was like my brother giving me a hard time, but in a funny way. Couple B picked up on it. I didn't do a good job relaying it so maybe you just had to be there to feel the 'vibe'.  :)

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #109 on: January 07, 2013, 04:28:25 PM »
Bloo, you know in a million years I'd never think to make gravy in that situation either... and if called out on it at first I'd be all "huh?  gravy?" and then I'd realize "oh yeah, duh!  I guess most people would do gravy with this wouldn't they?"

Actually that's not true - I wouldn't have before age 30 or so ever thought to make gravy, now I might think of it because I too have had moments, not quite as blatant or obvious as yours, about 'where's the gravy?' so now I try to remember some people like a sauce (because honestly, if I'm doing any kind of sauce that to me is the gravy) on their meal.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30461
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #110 on: January 07, 2013, 04:39:51 PM »

Oh, and by the way, I don't cook things I don't like. I know a lot of people do and I think it's very gracious of them to do so, but I like to eat what I cook and I also would never serve something to a guest that I wouldn't eat so the idea of cooking something I don't like doesn't work for me.

Me, too! (Although one of the times I said that here, I got really jumped on.)

Softly Spoken

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 576
  • "I am a hawk on a cliff..."
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #111 on: January 07, 2013, 06:28:26 PM »

Oh, and by the way, I don't cook things I don't like. I know a lot of people do and I think it's very gracious of them to do so, but I like to eat what I cook and I also would never serve something to a guest that I wouldn't eat so the idea of cooking something I don't like doesn't work for me.

Me, too! (Although one of the times I said that here, I got really jumped on.)

Actually, I have always wondered how well one can cook a dish if is something they don't care for. If you don't eat and/or prepare something on a regular basis, I would question how familiar you are with it and how dedicated you are to making it taste good. I prepare dishes that I love, in the hopes that others will love them too.

~*~*~*~*
Agreeing with PPs that bringing an unprepared dish is way more of a misstep than whether the dish is made from scratch or not.

I like boxed mac and cheese, and I've tweaked it to get my favorite version. I use the spiral version because I think it distributes the sauce better. I use more milk than butter, and I add whipped cream cheese. This gives me a very creamy m&c, and it reheats very well. ;D
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

Giggity

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8622
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #112 on: January 08, 2013, 08:20:21 AM »
Mac and cheese is not that difficult. You buy pasta, you buy cheese, you buy milk. You boil the pasta, you melt the cheese, you mix in the milk, you heat it until you like the texture, and hey presto, mac and cheese.
Words mean things.

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1152
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #113 on: January 08, 2013, 08:30:58 AM »

Actually, I have always wondered how well one can cook a dish if is something they don't care for. If you don't eat and/or prepare something on a regular basis, I would question how familiar you are with it and how dedicated you are to making it taste good. I prepare dishes that I love, in the hopes that others will love them too.
~*~*~*~*
Agreeing with PPs that bringing an unprepared dish is way more of a misstep than whether the dish is made from scratch or not.

I like boxed mac and cheese, and I've tweaked it to get my favorite version. I use the spiral version because I think it distributes the sauce better. I use more milk than butter, and I add whipped cream cheese. This gives me a very creamy m&c, and it reheats very well. ;D

The bolded is how I've felt. If I don't like something I don't make it, usually. Because I'm not going to be able to tell if it came out right.

For example, I don't care for 'picnic' food: fried or bbq chicken (too messy), macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw and rolls. I'll eat all of it, but I just don't care for it. When I've been asked to bring macaroni salad, potato salad or coleslaw to parties, I ask if I can bring something else. I'll say, 'Do you have a tried-and-true recipe? Otherwise, I'd like to make something else because I don't care for ___, so I will probably mess it up.' It's always allowed me to weasel out of making something I don't like.

KenveeB

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8356
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #114 on: January 08, 2013, 09:16:14 AM »
Mac and cheese is not that difficult. You buy pasta, you buy cheese, you buy milk. You boil the pasta, you melt the cheese, you mix in the milk, you heat it until you like the texture, and hey presto, mac and cheese.

And again, just because something is easy for you doesn't make it easy for everyone.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15809
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #115 on: January 08, 2013, 09:26:50 AM »
In my family the hosts provided everything with the possible exception of beer and wine.  My uncle -- who hosted all the important family events until he moved in 1995 -- always provided all the food and his BIL would bring a case of beer.  My mother never had to provide anything.

Brunhilde does all the cooking at her place; I always bring cranberry sauces and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and the bread at all other times because of the bakeries near me being superior to the ones available to her.  Her sister brings the veg and arrives a little earlier.

I despise mac and cheese in all forms, but I can see that if one bakes it it might be possible to prepare it halfway and bring it in the baking dish to put into the oven.  However, I think that is a bit of a hassle.

Also -- like a couple of others here -- there was no "children's food" in my family or in those of any of my friends.

Cat-Fu

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 523
  • My cat is a ninja
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #116 on: January 08, 2013, 10:20:58 AM »
Mac and cheese is not that difficult. You buy pasta, you buy cheese, you buy milk. You boil the pasta, you melt the cheese, you mix in the milk, you heat it until you like the texture, and hey presto, mac and cheese.

And again, just because something is easy for you doesn't make it easy for everyone.

Honestly, if it was so incredibly difficult for the SIL to make mac and cheese, she should not have agreed to bring it!
“Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.” PBS

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6739
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #117 on: January 08, 2013, 01:01:29 PM »
Mac and cheese is not that difficult. You buy pasta, you buy cheese, you buy milk. You boil the pasta, you melt the cheese, you mix in the milk, you heat it until you like the texture, and hey presto, mac and cheese.

And again, just because something is easy for you doesn't make it easy for everyone.

Honestly, if it was so incredibly difficult for the SIL to make mac and cheese, she should not have agreed to bring it!

I agree with that, but am getting pretty annoyed at HotDish's assertions that mac and cheese is so easy to make. It seems like an easy dish for her to make but that really doesn't mean that the rest of us will find it easy to make. I have never made homemade mac and cheese and can guarantee if I followed HotDish's advice it wouldn't be edible. 

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6252
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #118 on: January 08, 2013, 01:31:27 PM »
Mac and cheese is not that difficult. You buy pasta, you buy cheese, you buy milk. You boil the pasta, you melt the cheese, you mix in the milk, you heat it until you like the texture, and hey presto, mac and cheese.

And again, just because something is easy for you doesn't make it easy for everyone.

Honestly, if it was so incredibly difficult for the SIL to make mac and cheese, she should not have agreed to bring it!

I agree with that, but am getting pretty annoyed at HotDish's assertions that mac and cheese is so easy to make. It seems like an easy dish for her to make but that really doesn't mean that the rest of us will find it easy to make. I have never made homemade mac and cheese and can guarantee if I followed HotDish's advice it wouldn't be edible.

I would agree she is way over simplifying.  I personally do not enjoy a Mac&Cheese that doesn't start with a bechamel sauce.  Also lack of any seasoning will really impact the taste.  There is also a big difference in melted cheese texture and if you've not worked with cheese, you may not understand the challenge of melting a cheddar versus the ease of melting an American cheese.  Even the idea of needing to reduce the cooking time for the noodles was overlooked.  If a novice cook cooks to package directions, the noodles will end up mushy once they are either cooked on the stove or in the oven with the cheese sauce. 

I admit to making the same mistake as Hotdish in over simplifying cooking directions.  Telling some one to follow the Tollhouse cookie recipe on the back of the package doesn't do much good if they don't know what the term "cream" butter and sugar together means, as my son pointed out to me a few months ago.

KenveeB

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8356
Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #119 on: January 08, 2013, 02:21:00 PM »
Mac and cheese is not that difficult. You buy pasta, you buy cheese, you buy milk. You boil the pasta, you melt the cheese, you mix in the milk, you heat it until you like the texture, and hey presto, mac and cheese.

And again, just because something is easy for you doesn't make it easy for everyone.

Honestly, if it was so incredibly difficult for the SIL to make mac and cheese, she should not have agreed to bring it!

As has been discussed quite a bit, we don't know exactly what was said to SIL or what she promised. She may have honestly believed she was just supposed to bring a box of mac & cheese to have on hand in case some of the kids were picky. But I'm just tired of hearing how this is such an easy dish and anyone who says they can't make it is obviously just lying. I cook quite a bit, and I've never made mac & cheese from scratch. I definitely know people who don't cook and may try with all their might to follow "simple" directions but still end up with an inedible glop. I know there are a lot of things I consider easy that others don't, so it's important to keep that in mind before dismissing someone else's explanations.