I was really craving some baked macaroni and cheese. I usually make the kind where you don't make a cheese sauce and just layer in the cheese and pour a milk and egg mixture over the top and bake it. That is the version my late grandmother made for me growing up. Mama Hairball always made the boxed kind which is an entirely different animal!
I haven't been to the grocery store since the 25th. Because of that, I'm out of some things like eggs, so I couldn't make the non-cheese sauce version I normally make. I turned on my oven to preheat at 350F, got out my 1950 version of the Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, and refreshed my memory as to how much butter, flour, milk, and cheese I would need to make the cheese sauce version.
Click on the picture to see a larger version. I made a double batch of themedium white sauce and your white sauce is all smooth, you add in your shredded cheese. Betty said said to add 1/4 tsp dry mustard and "1/2 cup nippy American cheese ( cut up or grated). Stir until cheese is melted." I added some cayenne pepper and then some grated Cheddar and stirred until it was smooth.Meanwhile, I sprayed a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick spray and boiled a pound of macaroni for six minutes. It's going to absorb some moisture from the cheese sauce or milk/egg mixture depending on whichever version you make, so I cook it a little less than I would if I were going to eat the macaroni right then.
Next, I turned to the page about mac and cheese and looked over those instructions. If you look at the large version of this you will see that I am not exactly following the directions since I made a cheese sauce and I am making a larger quantity than Betty does.
I poured about 1/3 of the cheese sauce in the bottom of pan and added about 1/3 of the macaroni and repeated until I had used up all the macaroni and cheese sauce. Then I got out some sharp Cheddar I had left(I used a mild Cheddar for the cheese sauce) and put that on the top.
Here it is ready for the oven. Bake it for 30 minutes at 350F.
While we wait for the Mac & Cheese to achieve hot, bubbly, cheesy, goodness, let's veg out with another of my favorite scenes from I Love Lucy:
If you are unfamiliar with this episode, here's some more information.
Okay, lets check on our mac and cheese. Mine looked a little pale so I turned the temperature to 400 and turned on the broiler to crisp up the top a bit. Here's a closeup of my finished product: