Home Cooking

Let me start by telling you my mom is a really good cook. Her lasagna? World-class, and like any good Italian boy I consider my mother's meatballs to be the gold standard against which all other meatballs are judged and, inevitably, found lacking. But I wasn't always so appreciative. Back when I was growing up I wasn't very fond of meals like spanish rice or goulash; simple meals intended to stretch pennies rather than delight a young palate. I wanted steak! I wanted chicken! I wanted Spaghettios! (which was unfortunate because even if we'd been a wealthy family my mom would sooner have slit her wrists than serve canned spaghetti) My one concession to economy was tuna cassarole, which I absolutely loved. But the food I loathed above all others, more than spanish rice, more than goulash, was macaroni and cheese. And I know exactly why. I was home sick from school one day and I had leftover macaroni and cheese from the night before for lunch. Half an hour later I was leaning over the side of my bed vomiting, and the pile of vomit in the garbage pail looked exactly like the macaroni and cheese had looked on my plate. I never touched my mom's macaroni and cheese again. When I was in college I was introduced to the wonders of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinners, which were sufficiently unlike my mom's lovingly prepared homemade recipe for me to eat, and now as an adult macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite meals. There's a catch, though... it has to be dark, and it has to be thick. If the color is too light, or the consistency to thin, I'm transported back in time and I just can't touch the stuff.

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