Author Topic: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese  (Read 19538 times)

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Deetee

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #120 on: January 08, 2013, 02:28:13 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.

Actually that sounds quite tricky. I have made it that way and you get stringy sticky cheese over pasta in a milk soup.

Now, I'm sure that it is possible to make it that way and you have had plenty of success, but I would guess that it requires a different type of cheese and very little milk and a pasta that is extra starchy.

magicdomino

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #121 on: January 08, 2013, 02:55:18 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.

Actually that sounds quite tricky. I have made it that way and you get stringy sticky cheese over pasta in a milk soup.
Now, I'm sure that it is possible to make it that way and you have had plenty of success, but I would guess that it requires a different type of cheese and very little milk and a pasta that is extra starchy.

That's what happened to me.  The cheese and milk didn't blend together.  The only kind of homemade mac and cheese that has worked for me was the kind that starts with white sauce, and even then one had to use the right kind of cheddar.  I'd rather eat re-heated boxed mac and cheese.

Cat-Fu

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #122 on: January 08, 2013, 02:58:23 PM »
Just as a tip for mac & cheese—when you make it with cheddar, use colby (or colby jack! mmm) for half of the amount of cheese. Cheddar has a tendency to get a bit curd-like when it melts, and the colby ensures that it is creamy and smooth. Sorry to threadjack a bit, but I've been making mac and cheese from scratch since I was 8 and only just learned this!
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jedikaiti

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #123 on: January 08, 2013, 03:28:25 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.

My mother's first (and, AFAIK only) attempt at homemade mac & cheese took over an hour and we ended up going out to eat. :-) We never had the boxed stuff, either (when I was a kid, Mom didn't believe in using boxed mixes for much of anything) - growing up, Mom's family had mac and cheese pretty much every Friday, so she wasn't too inclined to make it at all until she got a whim when I was in high school. :-)
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NyaChan

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #124 on: January 09, 2013, 01:33:41 AM »
I've made from scratch.  It was good, but I wouldn't have given that recipe to a beginner to make.  My sister would have rocked it, but I have a cousin who I still don't trust to make boxed mac n cheese.  I may have posted this story already somewhere else, but here it goes:

Cousin was put in charge of making boxed mac n cheese for dinner.  She boils the water, she puts in the pasta, and waits.  And waits.  And waits.  Finally her mom walks into the kitchen asking whether it is done only to find that the pasta has been boiled past its prime  :P  When asked why she didn't take it out of the water, Cousin replied, "But it hadn't turned yellow yet!"

KarenK

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #125 on: January 09, 2013, 11:10:37 AM »
I've made from scratch.  It was good, but I wouldn't have given that recipe to a beginner to make.  My sister would have rocked it, but I have a cousin who I still don't trust to make boxed mac n cheese.  I may have posted this story already somewhere else, but here it goes:

Cousin was put in charge of making boxed mac n cheese for dinner.  She boils the water, she puts in the pasta, and waits.  And waits.  And waits.  Finally her mom walks into the kitchen asking whether it is done only to find that the pasta has been boiled past its prime  :P  When asked why she didn't take it out of the water, Cousin replied, "But it hadn't turned yellow yet!"

Yes, we should never make assumptions about the cooking skills of other people! (Says the girl who at the age of 10 or 11 put a casserole in the oven in the "green dish with the cover." My dad came home just in time to take the Tupperware bowl out of the oven just before it completely melted. Yeah, Mom meant the green Pyrex casserole dish. My brothers have yet to let me live this down. I claimed Mom should have been more specific. ;D)

Sara Crewe (previously Tia2)

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #126 on: January 10, 2013, 02:13:44 PM »
I think another problem with good cooks giving instructions is that they leave out obvious steps that may not be obvious to a novice.

I wanted to make a rice pudding like my mother makes.  She gave me a full recipe and I followed it.  Unfortunately, the skin on the top failed to form - it turns out that you have to use an open container - if you put a lid on, no skin.

It never occurred to my mother to tell me to leave the lid in the cupboard; it seemed to me to be obvious to put the lid on so that the dish didn't spit over the inside of my oven.

bloo

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #127 on: January 10, 2013, 07:32:53 PM »
I think another problem with good cooks giving instructions is that they leave out obvious steps that may not be obvious to a novice.

I wanted to make a rice pudding like my mother makes.  She gave me a full recipe and I followed it.  Unfortunately, the skin on the top failed to form - it turns out that you have to use an open container - if you put a lid on, no skin.

It never occurred to my mother to tell me to leave the lid in the cupboard; it seemed to me to be obvious to put the lid on so that the dish didn't spit over the inside of my oven.

This is true!

I moved to where I lived now a few years ago and apparently no one around here has heard of bacon-wrapped jalapenos. Cut in half, take out the veins and seeds, fill with cream cheese, wrap with 1/2 slice of bacon and bake on a broiler pan at 400 degrees for 35 or so minutes. Easy peasy right? So many people asked for the recipe and there really isn't one. I don't know how much cream cheese:bacon:jalapeno ratios, you know? The only pain is wearing gloves and if you're doing an appreciable amount, it gets kind of monotonous. But it's easy.

So one of my friends gave me flack for ruining his peppers by not telling him  how to make them properly. I asked, "How is it my fault?"

He said, "Well, when I wrapped the bacon, it all came undone! You didn't tell me how to wrap it."

I said, "You're right. I didn't tell you how to wrap it. Because I thought wrapping it so the ends of the bacon are tucked under the pepper was...ya know...common sense."

He responded, "You should have told me."

Me:  ???

Bluenomi

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #128 on: January 10, 2013, 08:23:28 PM »
I think another problem with good cooks giving instructions is that they leave out obvious steps that may not be obvious to a novice.

I wanted to make a rice pudding like my mother makes.  She gave me a full recipe and I followed it.  Unfortunately, the skin on the top failed to form - it turns out that you have to use an open container - if you put a lid on, no skin.

It never occurred to my mother to tell me to leave the lid in the cupboard; it seemed to me to be obvious to put the lid on so that the dish didn't spit over the inside of my oven.

I'd blame the recipe for that one. It should always tell you if the dish goes into the over covered or uncovered.

Sara Crewe (previously Tia2)

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #129 on: January 11, 2013, 03:28:23 AM »
I think another problem with good cooks giving instructions is that they leave out obvious steps that may not be obvious to a novice.

I wanted to make a rice pudding like my mother makes.  She gave me a full recipe and I followed it.  Unfortunately, the skin on the top failed to form - it turns out that you have to use an open container - if you put a lid on, no skin.

It never occurred to my mother to tell me to leave the lid in the cupboard; it seemed to me to be obvious to put the lid on so that the dish didn't spit over the inside of my oven.

I'd blame the recipe for that one. It should always tell you if the dish goes into the over covered or uncovered.

There wasn't a recipe - my mother just knows how to make rice pudding.  She gave it to me over the phone including cooking times and temperature - she just didn't think to mention the cook pot.

nayberry

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #130 on: January 11, 2013, 03:36:33 PM »
for me mac & cheese is white sauce with cheese melted in + pasta

the below is a delia smith recipe (well known uk cook http://www.deliaonline.com/community/yourrecipes/maincourses/Macaroni-Cheese.html )
and is very close to what i use, although i make white sauce by eye now and add more or less cheese depending on if it's strong or mild cheddar


Ingredients
8oz Macaroni,
pinch of salt,

For the cheese sauce,
2oz butter/margarine,
1 1/2oz flour,
1 pint milk,
salt and pepper,
6oz chedder cheese,

Method
Put macaroni in pan of salted boiling water. Simmer 10-15 mins. Drain
Put butter, flour and milk in pan. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Simmer 2-3 mins
Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper
Add cooked macaroni and 5oz of the cheese to the sauce and mix well
Pour into casserole dish
Sprinkle with rest of cheese
Put in over 180C until golden and bubbly

Ida

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #131 on: January 24, 2013, 11:00:42 PM »

Cousin was put in charge of making boxed mac n cheese for dinner.  She boils the water, she puts in the pasta, and waits.  And waits.  And waits.  Finally her mom walks into the kitchen asking whether it is done only to find that the pasta has been boiled past its prime  :P  When asked why she didn't take it out of the water, Cousin replied, "But it hadn't turned yellow yet!"

Sounds as if she was confusing mac n cheeze with Gravy Train.

Arf!

I have lots of cookbooks, especially old ones, that skip important specifications, and I don't just mean "in a hot oven" things.  ("What else? A cold oven? I thought we called that a refrigerator.") It's funny how writing a cookbook is so much like writing a technical manual.
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