Friday, November 10, 2006


Several people have asked for my Mac & Cheese recipe, so here it is. I have to warn you, it feeds 50 hungry people. But if you need comfort food for a frat house, this is your recipe!

Mac for a Mob

5 pounds macaroni, uncooked. (I use a mix of rotini, farfalle, and radiatori, but elbow macaroni
will work just fine.

1 3/4 pound (7 sticks) butter
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 ½ gallon whole milk, heated almost to the boil
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 ½ pounds grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 large bag potato chips (or more -- you can always eat the rest, right?)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two full-size aluminum hotel pans and set aside.

Cook macaroni in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water to al dente as directed on the pasta packaging. Drain, rinse, and drain again thoroughly. Divide between 2 prepared pans.

In a large pot, melt 1 ½ pound (six sticks) butter. Add the flour and salt and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the curry, mustard, cayenne, and pepper and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Add the Worcestershire sauce and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and let the sauce cook at a slow boil for 3 minutes to fully cook out the starchy taste of the flour. Taste for seasonings.

Add 3 pounds of shredded cheddar. Stir until cheese is melted and incorporated. Pour half over each pan of pasta, stirring to make sure pasta is throughly coated. Don’t worry if the sauce seems thin. It will thicken.

Melt remaining stick of butter. Sprinkle each pan with 1/4 pound shredded cheddar. Crush the potato chips and sprinkle generously over the top. Drizzle each tray with half of the butter. Sprinkle with paprika to garnish. Bake at for 45 minutes until heated through.

Bon Appetite!

Note: I often make this up all the way up to sprinkling on the extra cheese on top, then refrigerate or freeze. When I am ready to bake it off I top the (defrosted) mac and cheese with the potatoe chips and butter and bake in the oven. From a refrigerated state it will take at least an hour, maybe even 1 1/2 hours to heat.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I've Been to A Marvelous Party...

With Nunu and Nada and Nell...

(I hope Dolores liked the Coward reference!) Anyway -- MARVELOUS party! A party which will be talked about for some time to come!

The occasion? Franklin's Knit In to benefit the Dulaan project! And everybody who is anybody was there! (Except for Kwiky, who had to work selling yarn, poor dear.)

Anyway, in addition to my beloved Dolores, there were scads of people...approaching 1oo..knitting and laughing and eating and talking and eating and knitting and laughing and eating!

Jonathon & Meg brought a pumpkin cake with yummy icing. J&M: Norbert asked me to ask for your recipe...he'd very much like me to make it for him. (High praise.)

Majors Domo for the day were Buzz KnitNot and Sean. (Sean, who manages a lovely yarnshop in Boston, came out for the weekend! Now that is a great friend!) My lovely Myfanwe worked keeping the kitchen and dining room running smoothly and looking good. (Patting myself on the back, my huge tray of mac and cheese was all gone after only an hour!!) Norbert accompanied us, making him the youngest knitter there!

Norbert won Franklin's "Sheep on a Plane" drawing in the door prizes...we are shopping later today for a frame so we can hang it in his room! I won alovely handmade shawl pin, which means I probably have to start work on another lace shawl to go with it!

Bonne Marie of ChicKnits was there -- we got to sit and talk about her patterns and her website. I like her site because I can download a pattern for like a very reasonable (small) price, I don't have to pay tax, shipping, handling, and I don't have to wait a week for it to be delivered. (And, since I loose things very easilly, I always -- first thing -- e-mail the pattern to my personal computer where the pattern resides in archive but from which I can pull it up and whenever I want.

When I wasn't eating or knitting, I was talking...having an absolutely great time! Such nice friends Franklin has!

Karen, a very thorough blog reader, was there -- despite having to negotiate a neck brace! And she donated 10 balls of CashMerino to the door prizes! Now THAT's generosity!?

I want to do a special shout out to Amandacellist! Hey! Amanda (wink, wink) lives in Printers Row with her husband. She has a great sense of humor, and except for her trapsing off into tech geek speak with a few others for a few minutes, there is little she said that didn't have me laughing! (I think her first conversation with Jonathon will go down in knit-in history as the equivalent of "Who's on First". And Meg stepped in to end it with the polite equivalent of "Please don't mind him...he's special." My sides still hurt from laughing.

I was working (and ripping...and working..and ripping) my second Baby Surprise Sweater for the Dulaan project. The pattern is Elizabeth Zimmerman's, which I am knitting in a claret colored Lamb's Pride worsted weight. It is knit in one piece and, for the majority of the process just looks like a placenta strung on needles. I could not, for the life of me, understand how the pattern worked and how it could ever actually become a sweater. I had a love/hate relationship with the pattern for the first three quarters of the way was both an adventure and an exercize in self doubt...but when I finally just let go and just knit, without needing to control it and without allowing myself to doubt it, I had an epiphanal moment and viola! There it was -- a baby sweater! Pictures later when the finishing is complete.