What do you think of when you hear the phrase ‘comfort food?’
I get visions of Sunday afternoon at my Great Aunt Lucille’s house when I was growing up -Platters of fried chicken and mashed potatoes, and gravy.
Sometimes my Dad’s homemade macaroni and cheese floats into my brain, and I MUST HAVE MAC AND CHEESE.
The question is….does food really comfort, or is it the situation where we consumed it the comforting part?
My great aunt really seemed to enjoy having our big family over for Sunday dinner. My older brothers were always cutting up and laughing.
My parents and my great aunt and uncle would sit around the table talking about grown-up things. I found that a little boring then, but I totally understand the appeal of that now. The fellowship really is the best part of a meal.
On mac and cheese day, I felt my Dad’s provision and the security of home during meal time. The food tasted extra good then.
Is it any wonder the bible tells in Proverbs 15:17 -Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
It is even better when the food is delicious, AND the love prevalent.
Here is my Daddy’s Mac & Cheese Recipe….
Macaroni & Cheese
8 oz. elbow macaroni
8 oz. Velveeta (pasteurized process Cheese spread)
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
2-4 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
1-1/2 c. milk
Salt & pepper, to taste
Cook pasta in boiling salted water for 6 min’s or until it’s still a little on the firm side.
It will cook through when baked. (8oz=6-1/2 c. cooked.)
Melt butter in a saucepan, then whisk in flour. Incorporate the evaporated milk a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Add the rest of the milk, stirring constantly with whisk over medium heat until thickened. Salt lightly to taste. The cheese will also be salty so keep this in mind as you season.
Spray a 2-1/2 qt. casserole dish with non-stick spray. Place 1/2 of the macaroni in the dish, top with 1/2 of the Velveeta, cut in very small chunks, and ½ of the white sauce. Repeat layers and top with the sharp cheddar.
Bake in a 350° oven for 40- 45 minutes until cheeses are melted and sauce is bubbly. Serve immediately.
Sauce will thicken as it sits, so add a little milk when reheating casserole.
Note: My dad made the best mac and cheese in the world-or maybe it just seemed that way a bunch of hungry kids. The “blue box” just can’t compete with this. Be sure to salt the water well-pasta is bland without it. Feel free to add ham chunks or your favorite cheese as part of the mix. Velveeta melts so smoothly that it should at least be part of the sauce.