a kitchen failure

I never ate macaroni and cheese when I was growing up. My father didn't like it so my mother never made it. So, I don't have any history with cooking it. Like some of those things you learned to make when you were young and you don't need a recipe anymore. I could make pizza dough or my sponge cake (for strawberry shortcake) in my sleep :)

I found a recipe for Horn and Hardart's famous macaroni and cheese in a cookbook - the one they served for years and years and it has chunks of tomato in it. That's how my husband ate it when he was a kid. So, I bought all the ingredients and set out to make it one night last week. I was suspicious almost right away because the base sauce just wasn't thickening up. But, I went ahead anyway, because I'm the type of cook who has to follow the recipe the first time. I'll fool around with it later if I think it needs help but I like to try it the way it was originally intended to be. So, I put it in the oven and started on the salad. Checked on it periodically and it still wasn't thickening up. I think I cooked it an extra half hour and that finally did the trick. But the cheese had "broken" by that point and it was inedible—and not too attractive-looking either.

Maybe the cookbook authors never tested the recipe, or Horn and Hardart's purposely left something out when they supplied it, or I did something wrong. I'm sure there wasn't enough flour and butter for the amount of milk. Not that I'm going to try making it again any time soon—at least not this version.

So, do any of you make macaroni and cheese and want to share your recipe and tips? And yes, for you smart alecks, I could just open a box of Krafts. But that screaming yellow color - yikes! What's in there anyway?


liquid damage

or, why water and laptops don't mix. Two days into the new year and I'm working on the coffee table because it's cold upstairs in my studio. My cats get into a fight and my glass of water went flying. I thought I'd grabbed my laptop in time but some water must have gotten into the vents. First the shift keys stopped working, then the power button. I dropped the computer off at the local Macintosh dealer, they had to send it to the liquid damage center, and three days later I picked it up good as new. The only problem was that it cost almost as much to fix as it did to buy a new one - liquid damage voids the service contract - and don't think they can't tell that it's liquid either. I had to think really hard about buying a new computer but decided to stick with the old one for now. So, the moral of the story is, don't drink anything near your computer. And maybe make sure you have cats that don't wrestle on the coffee table :)

Sorry I haven't been around much the past month or so. I actually have some graphic design work that's keeping me busy and I'm working on my website and Etsy shops behind the scenes, too. Plus there's just not much happening here in the winter. I could tell you about shoveling snow but you're likely doing that yourselves and are thoroughly sick of it by now!