Thursday, July 12, 2018
My Mother's Macaroni & Cheese
My mother always made an extra casserole dish full of macaroni and cheese, and took it to a neighbor couple we dearly loved, for their Christmas Eve supper. On New Year's Day, Mrs. F always made a gelatin dessert called pumpkin snow, and sent it back to us in the clean casserole dish, along with a jar of custard sauce to serve with the dessert. It was a sweet tradition between neighbors.
I recently located my mother's macaroni & cheese recipe, which I had copied down many years ago. I suspect it probably started with a Betty Crocker recipe and she tweaked it from there. In case anyone else thinks macaroni & cheese sounds like a good Christmas Eve supper -- or if you'd just like to try a good recipe -- here it is:
MACARONI AND CHEESE
2 cups elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided use
3/8 teaspoon pepper, divided use
2 cups milk
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar, divided use
2 tsp. instant minced onion
1/2 tube of saltine crackers, crumbled
1/4 cup butter
Cook the macaroni as the package directs.
Melt butter in double boiler over hot water [I just use a saucepan]. Blend in flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk. Return to heat; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in about half the cheese (1 1/2 cups).
Place half the cooked macaroni in a lightly greased 2 to 3 quart casserole. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the minced onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on half the remaining cheese (about 3/4 cup). Pour half of the cheese sauce over this layer. Repeat layers.
For topping, melt the 1/4 cup butter and crumble in the half-tube of saltines. Cook the crumbs in the butter for a few minutes, then use to top the casserole. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375º for 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is browned and casserole is bubbly.
Makes 4 to 6 servings, I would guess.