Pot of Gold

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Neil is out-of-town this weekend, so I have the house to myself. I ate breakfast with my mom this morning, and she asked what on Earth I would do with myself for a weekend. I think she was a little shocked when I said my big plans were to clean, organize cabinets, read books and make a pot of macaroni and cheese. She asked if I still had the pot, and all I could do is break into a smile.

Mac and cheese has an odd place in my heart. Growing up in a household where both of my parents worked two or more jobs, we ate it constantly in one or more of their absences. It was the first thing any of us learned to cook, making it an odd right of passage in our little tribe of three. It made us feel like we were contributing to the family.

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My mom bequeathed the pot to me when I moved into my first apartment. It was part of their original set and used exclusively for mac. It bears the hairline scratches of a thousand batches. The handle is held together with a muffler clamp my dad MacGyver’d one cold winter night when the three of us needed dinner and we had nothing else to eat.

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I really only eat mac and cheese when Neil is out-of-town now, keeping the tradition alive in my own small way. It’s cheap, simple and unsophisticated, and maybe it seems silly to keep making it when I could make something more inspired. But to me, that distantly familiar pot of color that doesn’t occur in nature is a subtle reminder that in our family, absence always makes the heart grow fonder…and stronger.



Comments

  1. mmmm. I love mac too. It is totally my comfort food, and I always try to keep a box or two around for those dinners when I am at a total loss. I did eat way too much of it in grad school, but I try to limit my intake now that I’m all married and adult-like.

    • Yeah, I definitely lived on it in college and those years immediately following when I was flat broke. Now it’s just a sentimental thing when Neil is out of town, which is once in a blue moon. Keeps it special!

  2. Kraft Mac N Cheese was one of the first things I learned to cook as well. Even though I can make amazing Mac N Cheese from scratch now, I still get the craving for boxed Mac N Cheese. It’s a nostalgic thing for me as well. :)

  3. The Pot!!!

    You may be able to cook Mac & Cheese early, but no one ask her about grilled cheese!!! :)

  4. I think we all need a little Mac & Cheese every now and then. I’m headed to Trader Joe’s tomorrow and I may have to add that to my list!

  5. I love this little tradition. Keep it alive forever!

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