The Cottage Smallholder


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I need my comfort food

 

Macaroni waiting to jump out of the pack and delight Danny

Macaroni waiting to jump out of the pack and delight Danny

Years ago Seraphina and I used to go to Greece for a few weeks in the summer. Back then it was virtually undiscovered and extremely cheap – particularly on the islands that were furthest away from the mainland.

I loved Greece, in all its glories. I even enjoyed drinking retzina. The one drawback, for me was the food. I’ve never been keen on baked vegetables and sometimes ate meals with unusual and mystery ingredients.

One evening there was much jubilation at our favourite local restaurant. Something had been slaughtered on the island and they were serving it that night. I tried to understand what the meat actually was and when the waitress hissed at me I assumed that we’d be eating snake.

We sat at a little table outside the restaurant and sampled the dish. The meat was strong, chewy and unappetising. It was served with what I assumed was rather sloppy macaroni. We felt it would be very rude to leave this celebration meal so we forced it down.
“If you mix the meat with the macaroni it’s much easier to swallow,” I suggested.
Seraphina’s reaction was to stare in silent amazement.

She waited until I had finished my plate before she alerted me to the fact that the macaroni was in fact, intestines. And the meat was goat, not snake, and a very old one at that.

Now you’d think that the episode would put me off macaroni for life. It didn’t even put me off intestines much. Macaroni cheese is my comfort food, right up there with cold rice pudding and tinned guavas.

Even though Danny is willing to try virtually anything he has always been adamant about macaroni cheese.
“It’s not a proper meal. Even if it was given to me as a snack I wouldn’t want it. Yuk!”
He likes spaghetti and gnocchi (potatoes score here) but the thought of penne has him nervous.
“Never buy penne. Ever. I hate it.”
I’m not even tempted to pick up the 29p packs on offer in Netto.

So tonight finally I’m breaking out into dangerous territory. I’m making macaroni cheese. Not in the oven – pasta bakes agitate D. My old ultra cheesy sauce, with crisped bacon and finely sliced Marmande tomatoes. Of course there will be a few extra ingredients to give it a bit of a pep and a crispy dried breadcrumb topping.

He knows what is on the menu tonight and has snaked into Newmarket for some calming beer.

Wish me luck and if he likes it, I’ll post the recipe tomorrow! He better like it as I’ve nothing else to write about. Another beer, Danny?


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16 Comments

  1. Odelle Smith

    Liz, great idea to use crunched up crisps as topping on Mac&Cheese, the great comfort food!
    Adds a ‘new twist’ & I would imagine more child friendly, thanks for that, will give it a try next time I’ve no breadcrumbs to hand.
    I like to use a mix of wholewheat, white bread crumbs with parmesan, crisped & browned under the grill, Yum…..
    Odelle.

  2. Are we to take it that the MC was not well received? 🙂 Even without the D stamp of approval, we’ve all been drooling at the thought of this imminent recipe! We like pasta bakes, and find that crunched up crisps on the topping can be just enough to stop the final bit of grated cheese disappearing down all the gaps, for that toasted cheese without too much crunchy pasta finish.

  3. Kooky Girl

    My Biscuit Boy won’t eat macaroni cheese, and Cupcake just won’t eat ANY pasta at all… which makes life difficult. So, I’m on my own when it comes to macaroni cheese and pasta bake, both of which I enjoy making and eating. Macaroni cheese can be delicious with the right additions. I like a tiny splash of tabasco sauce in the cheese sauce to give it a little pep !

  4. Cluedocat

    We love macaroni cheese. Have never put bacon etc in it though! My hubby thinks its a real treat!!!

    Let us know how you got on!!

  5. i love making Mac n’ Cheese, the breadcrumbs makes it more moreish. I never thought to put tomatoes or bacon in it. I shall do that next time! Have you noticed that pasta has gone up by at least 10 pence this year. Macaroni is about 70p these days.

  6. skybluepinkish

    Veronica – my husband is exactly the same! I had never had macaroni cheese with bacon and tomato before I met him and now it’t the only way anyone in this house will eat it. Preferably with old breadcrumbs and grated cheese on the top!
    Gillie

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