Up at the ungodly hour of 5am on Sunday morning, I began reading the food issue of Room magazine, savouring the blissful silence at that time of darkness, and I suddenly got this craving for the perfect Mac and Cheese recipe (which I don’t have) because I almost never eat it. Then after reading some great pieces in this food-focused issue 40.1 (Psych Ward Grub by Lucas Crawford, Snap Dragon by Sylvia Symons, Your Body the Fire by Rachel Jansen), I felt the urge to write a poem. It left me wondering what the perfect macaroni and cheese recipe might actually be. I found one at the bottom, after my poem, but no guarantees it’s the ultimate.
Mac and cheese love
If it’s going to snow in Vancouver in March (for God’s sake)
I need to find a perfect macaroni and cheese recipe,
buttery smooth and steaming into existence a non-existent family.
Don’t forget the wieners.
Call forth childhood
when we’d eat them handed to us
by a fat man behind the meat counter,
blood specked phonetics on his white apron.
We’d pop the wieners round, packed firmness
chewy and fun inside our mouths,
my brother and I grossing each other out,
we’d open wide
revealing the gnarly, half-chewed mystery bits
when our mother wasn’t looking.
This time, maybe I’ll use white cheese, not cheddar
Snow Geese, not crows
clouds, not cream,
hold the gull droppings,
oregano as evergreens
parmesan, not pigeon
and finish with a delicate, breadcrumb topping,
like brown birds dotting a frozen lake from a distance.
I’m thinking now back to the time I made my version from memory
for you (lacking)
and you were mad
because (I now realize), you were actually hungry, the
way most of us never are any more (in the West)
for a good
meal, (with meat),
subtle flavours requiring conversation to identify,
the kind of dishes you’d always concoct for my visits
on your two-burner hot plate,
you, Jamie Oliver, you.
Nothing like what I had plated, something
to turn your nose up at
as if my making such a thing,
(suburban, mundane, less-than),
meant I didn’t love you the way
you’d imagined I did.
And with that, it may (not really) have been worth getting up at 5 am yesterday.
Check out this blog for their recommendations for making amazing homemade mac and cheese or if you’re holding out on me, and you already have the very best mac and cheese recipe, tell me what I have to do to receive it from you, point me in the right direction.
May your week be full of culinary surprises (in a good way)!