The Great Macaroni and Cheese Caper

This is not a movie review.

Or a book review.

Or a music/CD review.


No … this is a side-of-the-box cooking instructions review.


But not because it’s such exciting material (although it certainly is thought provoking).  No, this treatise addresses the absurdity of some simple cooking directions.


Trust me … this is for the good of the planet and all its inhabitants.


In case you haven’t made a box of the classic, traditional, good ol’, original Kraft macaroni and cheese lately, allow me to pontificate regarding what may be the most ridiculous cooking instructions (preparation deprecation, I calls it) I’ve ever seen in my 37 years of specializing in gourmet meals.


So what’s the big deal?  Why have I brought you here today?

Read and learn, Glasshoppah.


To make the cheese sauce, you’re instructed to add to the cooked macaroni and powdered cheese mix 4 tablespoons of butter (nobody says the m-word around here) and ¼ cup of 2% milk.


One-quarter of 1 cup of 2% milk and … a half-stick of butter.  A half-stick of butter contains 408 calories.  A quarter-cup of 2% milk contains 31 calories; a quarter-cup of whole milk contains 37.  The entire box of macaroni and cheese—as prepared according to the instructions—contains 1,200 calories (including the 31 milk calories).  The entire box—as prepared using whole milk—contains 1,206.

 2%?  What were they thinking?

Would the food police break down my door if I used … perish the thought … half and half?!

(The thoughts expressed by the writer of this blog and its subsidiary companies are the property of this blog and its sole subsidiaries, and are not intended in any way to disparage the Kraft Foods kitchen staff or its subsidiary companies.)

(Oh, wait … yes, they are.)

The Past Never Returns, and the Future Never Arrives

Visualize a straight horizontal line; it doesn’t matter how long it is in your mind because it is infinite in both directions for my purposes.  Now place a dot (or even better, a very, very, very small dot) anywhere on that line; that is the Present.  Everything to the left is the Past, and everything to the right is the Future.  (Because everyone knows that time moves horixontally and from right to left.)


Time Enough for Everyone

You and I are on that dot.  We’re always on that dot.  Take a look behind you; that’s the Past.  We can’t reach back and grab it; it’s gone—forever—it won’t ever come back.  Now turn around and face the future.  Can you see it?  I didn’t think so.  That’s because it’s not there.  And it’s never going to arrive.  As time “races past us”, we remain firmly planted on the Dot of the Present.  The future, therefore, is really just a concept.  It really doesn’t exist at all.  (Except as a concept.)


This Is Your Life

Now visualize a strip of recording tape … no reels … just one straight strip … reaching backward and forward through space … racing past the recording head (your memory) of your life.  Since we can’t go back in time, there’s no rewind button on this recorder.  Perhaps for our own good, we don’t know how far this strip of recording tape extends toward the time of our death.  We say we’d like to know, but would we really?  Anyway, there’s no fast forward either.


It smells alive when it rains.  Earth long dry and trees parched from the summer sun seem to inhale the rain and exhale a scent so intoxicating I will stand outside in a downpour just to breathe it in.

They call that scent petrichor, a word coined by Australian researchers in 1964 and based on the Greek words petra (rock) and ichor (the blood of gods).  I cannot think of a more fitting word to describe a scent so rooted in heaven and earth at the same time.

—Julie Johnson, The [Bend, Oregon] Bulletin, August 3, 2013