My friend’s daughter is home for the holidays and just got accepted into culinary school. She sent me a beautiful thank you note because I wrote her a letter of reference ( The note transported me back to my own graduate schools days- her excitement radiated through the card. Writing a honest letter of reference to help one advance in their career should not be taken lightly. I am forever grateful for those who have written letters and kept me on the right academic track. I can never say it enough- a thank you card will always top an email. It says thank you for taking the time to doing something nice for me. Thank you for believing my dreams) . I wanted to gift her with one of my favorite cookbooks; the issue is I have a lot of favorites ( what’s yours ?)So, instead, I invited her over to teach her how to make macaroni and cheese. While she was dishing some up to take home, I stuck the cookbook Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness By Sasha Martin (I always buy used books from Amazon- new books are like cars, they lose value as soon as you buy them) in her bag with a hand written note that reads “I am not Oprah, but I hope you enjoy one of my favorite books and as you go along this journey ask yourself and others ‘What did you eat today?’” When you think about gift giving, remember the memories outlast the things.
- 4 cups dried pasta
- 2 whole egg, beaten
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup cheese cheddar
- 1 cup mozzarella
- 1 cup Swiss cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Preparations :Cook pasta until very firm. Pasta should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain. In a small bowl, beat egg. In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn (This is the roué!). Pour in milk, whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low. Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together until smooth. Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in cheese and stir to melt. Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! Pour in drained, cooked pasta and stir to combine. Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden.
We love cheese
Real life moment: I thought I had regular size elbow macaroni. I did not. This is life though, the cooking must go on. I gave her an impromptu lesson on the different types of pasta and let her decide. We went with all of them.
“Omg, I am making roue in a real southern pot! This is your mother’s, right? Can you grab my phone so I can take a selfie?” – direct quote from a culinary student
“I hope culinary school is this cool. You should get a food blog and teach kids.” (how do you tell people you have a blog?) I hugged her and pushed her out the door. Merry Christmas.