Mac and Cheese

Yesterday my youngest son texted me. Even though he was just upstairs, he texted me a question. He wanted to know if we might make dinner together. With my help, he thought he would be able to make something a little more challenging.

I let him know that I had something planned already, as I had ingredients that needed to be used lest they go bad. That was fine with him, so I had a sous chef. I let him know I’d call him when it was time to get started.

A little before I was to leave work, I asked him to come down and start pulling out the ingredients he could find. I didn’t get a response, and still didn’t when I was finally off work. Admittedly, in my mind I thought maybe he had changed his mind or had gone out with friends instead. With that in mind, I started pulling the ingredients out to get started. When I got to cream cheese, I remembered I hadn’t stopped on my home from work the day before to get some.

As I was out buying the cream cheese, after checking with neighbors to see if someone might have some (I was hoping not to have to go out into the weather and roads until I absolutely had to after our snowstorm). While out, my son texted me he had fallen asleep and just saw my earlier message. Since he was still game, I asked him to get the mis en place ready, describing where things were to start the measuring.

Walking in the door, he had just about everything ready to go that was possible. Other than measuring out the milk, the Gouda cheese still needed to be grated. I showed him how to do the grating and said we needed a cup full. He started grating and in a few minutes, he couldn’t believe the workout it takes to grate. While he was doing that, I minced some garlic and melted butter in the cast iron skillet.

I got the garlic and onion going, then handed the reins over to him. His main worry was burning things—isn’t that what we all worry about when cooking. As we kept going, I handed him ingredients and guided him on stirring, whisking, and observing. We all know you have to watch closely what is happening with our food as we cook to make sure we are following the recipe, checking for doneness, and tasting to ensure the flavors. He continued to get his workout as the recipe called for a lot of frequent stirring or whisking.

All the while, we were talking about the cooking, checking the recipe, and chatting about a variety of things. This was the first time in a long time, if not ever, for us to cook together. I have to say I was more than a little surprised he asked me to cook with him. It was a pleasant surprise, but still a surprise. He and I don’t often see eye-to-eye, and this cooking together was quite nice and fun, and a few laughs here and there.

When we finished, we took it, along with the dessert he had brought home from work, to the Papa’s for dinner. We almost always have Wednesday and Sunday dinners together. Wednesday is at their place, Sunday’s at ours. The kids have been joining us as well while still living with us. In case you were wondering, the homemade mac and cheese was a hit. It had just a touch of heat, with great flavor. I’d have it again.

As all the kids launch into their own lives, hopefully, if they live close, they will continue to join us for these dinners. And, if they live farther away, they are able to join us from time-to-time. The hubby and I hope that as time goes on, all of the kids, grandkids, and the grandparents are able to join as a big family gathering for the holidays. It will make us very happy to be surrounded by the laughter and love of family, amusing ourselves with stories of driving one another crazy growing up, and all the adventures we had as a family.

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