Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.

On Sunday, while my laundry tumbled in the dryer, I ran to the grocery store to buy some orzo for my lunches this week. After being horrified by the price of a box of De Cecco at my local Food Emporium, another kind of pasta caught my eye. Not until that moment had I realized what I wanted for dinner: Kraft macaroni and cheese from the box.

Reader, I bought that mac & cheese, and I ate it. Yes, I am a vehement advocate of all things seasonal and local, an evangelist for all things slow and unprocessed. However. I, too, have my American-grown food weaknesses, and that powdery, salty, orangey goodness is at the top of a very short list (which also includes chicken McNuggets and Friendly's Reeses Pieces sundae).

When I read the side of the box, I noticed that the recipe seems to have changed slightly since I last bought Kraft dinner. Instead of a tablespoon of butter, the recipe now calls for just half a tablespoon, and it specifies skim milk in lieu of whole. Interesting, no? I didn't have any milk in the house, so I subbed in water, which, frankly, works just as well.

I made a salad to eat alongside, to assuage my nutritional guilt, and dug into the bowl of bright orange, dinosaur-shaped noodles. Let me tell you, people - it was dang good. Better than Cheetos. Better than Hostess cupcakes. But while it was a fantastic trip down memory lane, it was not better than spaghetti carbonara. Phew.

11 comments:

TKTC said...

I can't say I blame you for this one. I have also been known to keep a blue box in the cupboard for extra bad days or extra late nights. If I have any on hand, I try to stir some spinach and/or sauteed mushrooms in but when you only get the craving a few times a year? Kind've nice to just savor it for what it is.

Anonymous said...

The only thing missing from these meal were peas and a cut up hot dog.

Anonymous said...

That should be "things missing from this meal were." Damn the internets.

Wendy said...

ha! since my husband is out of town this week a childhood friend and I made one of our comfort foods. fritos, canned chili, shredded cheddar, shredded iceberg, sour cream and salsa. it was damn good! ;)

Miles said...

I love this post.

However I would have assumed you were a purist and would have chosen plain noodles-I don't remember dinosaurs in our day.

I succumbed to the same guilty pleasure a few years ago but I was unable to successfully dive head on into the wave of nostalgia. I must have used too much milk as I remember it being very thin and not warm enough.

Re: the anonymous post, I never had peas in the dish but I have seen hot dogs in it. I personally had my one and only tasting of spam in cheese and macaroni courtesy of friend's mother.

Meg Blocker said...

@TKTC: Yeah, I like mine pure, or otherwise made more unhealthy with cut-up hot dogs. Double the sodium, double the pleasure!

@Anonymous (who is definitely my little brother): I thought about that! I actually did have some frozen peas, but was feeling too lazy even for that.

@Wendy: OK, I feel vindicated. I am not the only one indulging in this sort of thing, and that concoction sounds kind of 80s-awesome.

@Miles: Thanks, hon! I remember making a runny version of this a few years back; this time, I added the liquid gradually, whisking as I went, to make sure I got the right consistency. Old habits die hard, I suppose. As for the noodle shape, I like the character-shaped ones because they hold the sauce better than the original elbow macaroni. Nerdy, yes?

shortstack said...

Queenie, the only thing you missed is the ground cracked pepper... mmmmm... and yes my twinks devour theirs with cut-up hot dogs, though they eat so much of it I buy the Annie's organic version for them... and the Kraft value pack for me and hubby! das right, sista!

CityMouse said...

Have you ever tried the Fiber Gourmet mac n' cheese? Tastes very similar to Kraft but with a lot more fiber and a lot fewer calories. I hate to admit it but I eat it pretty regularly.

Meg Blocker said...

@shortstack: Cracked pepper, interesting! Sounds delish. Annie's is way too fancy for my blood...bring on the preservatives!!! (I think my mom actually tried to switch us to Annie's at some point, and we revolted.)

@CityMouse: I've never heard of that! If I start to eat this more often, I will definitely look into it...

Erin said...

I made Kraft from the box, too, about a month ago, for reasons I still don't understand. The pasta itself wasn't too bad, but no amount of paprika or garlic could make the powdered-cheese sauce remotely tasty. ;)

Meg Blocker said...

@Erin: HERESY!!! You clearly have classier tastebuds than I do. :-P

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