I have mentioned several times before that my Mother-in-Law and I don't really have a relationship. It's not entirely by choice, except for that part 18 months ago when I made the choice to stop walking back into the demented merry-go-round that is the abuse cycle I always found myself in with her.
It's weird, and I don't love that this is how things are.
It's also a huge relief and I feel more free than I have in 20 years.
As I do with everything, my mental process with the situation gets hashed out at the stove. Every time I made this mac-n-cheese I think of her because it's her recipe. She taught me how to make it when Art and I got married and we've eaten it regularly since. It's a taste of childhood for my husband...something enjoyable he clings to.
She got the recipe from the hospital kitchen she worked in as a young mom. She was a kitchen assistant and yes, this is literally how they made it for patients. Could you imagine hospital food like this now? LOL!
It's easy, super frugal, tasty and frankly, the kind of creamy only Velveeta can provide. We make it when we want to walk down memory lane...skipping the whirl on the merry-go-round.
Food's ability to preserve positive memories even in ugly situations constantly amazes me. :)
I suppose that's a choice too.
Tri-Tip & Mac-n-Cheese Sandwiches. The hubs' new favorite.
2 bags mini shells (I like pagasa brand) or 3 cups mini shells, cooked and drained
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk
16 oz. velveeta, cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
paprika to garnish (optional)
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat.
Whisk in flour to form a roux, whisking consistently to avoid lumps.
Reduce heat to medium and allow roux to "toast" for about 1 minute, until golden.
Add milk, whisking like made to incorporate the roux.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and allow milk to thicken, whisking very frequently to avoid scorching the bechamel, (white sauce.)
Once the milk is bubbling, add the cheese.
Kill the heat and stir until the cheese melts.
Season with black pepper as desired and a pinch of sea salt.
You an serve this as is or add to a greased 13x9 and bake for 15 minutes to thicken it up. Sometimes I get crazy and make a panko topping for it and garnish with paprika.
Other times, I eat it right out of the pot, standing over the stove. You do you. ;)
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