Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ordinary Me: L & M

I've been trying to stay off the computer when I get home at night. I think it's nice to try to spend time with the dude; once I'm on, I'm sucked into blogs and other things until bed time. Isn't screwing around on the computer what work is for? Yes, yes, it is.

Thanks for all your comments on my gifts. Jo, I called that finishing ladder stitch, but it's because I had my head up my ass again. It's similar to the finishing you describe on your heart ornament--stitching together the backstitches. But instead of whipstitching, I do more of a lacing thing which makes a decorative edging of sorts...

On to the encyclopedia
L: Locanico and linguica Two of my favorite sausages. Eating locanico at a Greek fair in the Valley once put me in such a state of rapture I declared to the dude that we should travel the world eating sausages! I'd still like to do it one day, but we have arguments over Germany. The dude thinks Germany is the home of all sausage and must be included. I say any culture where the people eat fat sausage (that is, sausage made out of fat) is one to avoid. And I won't hear a word against black pudding, or as we called it blood sausage (which is actually a different sort of thing). It's the Canuck in me. (And wikipedia is wrong: in New England, we call it linguica, we're not a bunch of xenophobic halfwits. We can speak Portuguese.)

Luna Moth When I was a kid, I had The Children's Book of Knowledge. I read it until the covers fell off. I loved the pictures of the various peoples in their native costumes. But I was totally entranced by the luna moth. It was just so huge! About 4 years ago, I finally saw one--it the Natural History Museum's Pavilion of Wings. It was like achieving a childhood goal.

M: Manhattan The drink, not the place--though I did live there briefly. I drank four of these at the wedding. Now you know why the dude's first responsibility as part of a married couple was to announce to those gathered at the post-wedding brunch, "On behalf of my wife, I'd like to thank you all for coming." (Actually the first was to hold my wedding dress out of the vomit.) I couldn't stand up until 1:00 pm. We had to get a late check out. I was miserable. A year or so later, I was visiting a college friend and her husband got us drinks. He asked if I wanted bourbon. "I love bourbon!" I enthused. "Yes, I know," he responded. I was a little embarrassed, but only a little.

Macaroni and cheese my mom makes the best!
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 c warm milk
1 lb grated cheddar, preferably Vermont, the white kind (let people know you're not eating boxed M&C)
1 lb elbow macaroni, boiled but underdone
2 slices bread, buttered

Melt the butter in a medium pot. Stir in the flour, brown. Slowly pour in the warm milk--it's gotta be warm, people. Whisk until thick. Stir in the cheese. Yes, all of it.

Put the macaroni in a buttered 2-qt baking dish, pour part of the cheese sauce in. Stir. Continue to pour in the sauce until it's slightly creamier than you want. You're probably going to have some leftover sauce; use it on baked potatoes or broccoli. Slice the buttered bread into 3/4" squares. Sprinkle on top of the macaroni. Do not omit this step. This was my sister's and my favorite part of this favorite meal. The bread will suck up the cheese oil. It is the best flavor ever. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Use the croutons as your guide--see how important they are? Don't let them burn.


C in DC said...

OK. You've mentioned two of my favorite foods: homemade mac & cheese (hmm, it may be cool enough this weekend to bake some) and linguica. For a truly divine food experience, try the linguica pizza at Joe's Spaghetti & Pizza House at 33 Market St, Northampton, Mass.

Lee said...

My dad always drank Manhattans. Rocks w/2 cherries.

I still like the way they smell, but drink one? Nope.

Kathryn said...

Mac & Cheese, mmmmm. And your recipe is close, close enough. Just missing a bit of nutmeg (always use a tiny bit of nutmeg in cheese sauces), salt and pepper. A bit of sauce goes on the bottom, then mac, then more sauce. The bread is grated (or put in the Cuisinart) to a rough, large crumb and topped with smoked Spanish paprika. Also I make my sauce in the microwave in a gigantic pyrex measuring cup, no burning, no constant stirring and you can pour the sauce from the cup. Melt butter, stir in flour, cook flour and butter, stir in warm milk, cook, stir once, cook, add cheese, cook, stir, sauce!

Brave Astronaut said...

That's my mom's Mac and Cheese recipe too. (although she would sometimes use swiss with the cheddar) The best part was plucking some of the elbows from the casserole top, while it was cooling, before my mother would put the bread crumbs on the top. It was a challenge to see how many you could get out of the top before it became noticable.

Major comfort food. Mom's mac and cheese and hot dogs. Ranks right up there with her Swedish meatballs. Yum!