While I was taking a shower this morning I had quite the epiphany (showering is usually when I have my best thoughts and ideas) about my Dad and his macaroni and cheese making. Turns out, I could have been wrong about a few things...gasp!
A little trip back in time...
My Dad was the primary cook in our household growing up. Typically things were great, though, like all of us home cooks, there could be some blunders here and there, his pies are a whole story in themselves for another time. My Grandfather was also the primary cook in his house, that I can remember, and he made the best macaroni and cheese. He would use spaghetti instead of noodles, and there was just something wonderful about it. My Dad's mac and cheese was good, but it was never JUST mac and cheese. He ALWAYS had to add something to it. We would ask what was for dinner and he would say pork, mac and cheese...yada yada yada, and we would be ready for it, until we saw the macaroni and cheese which was decidedly a casserole. He couldn't help himself. He HAD to add something in, typically it would include green chilies, but there was always something. We would groan and tease him that he was incapable of making JUST macaroni and cheese and he would take it, usually laughing along, sometimes getting his feelings hurt.
I could never understand his need to add more...until this morning's shower.
I do the same thing. I feel a desperate need to make sure that I get lots of healthy goodness into my kids' dinner. Veggies and more veggies, vitamins, minerals, they've all got to be there. I feel the pull to add more goodness, sometimes where it doesn't belong. I long for ways to sneak in spinach and kale to one pot meals. Salads always have too much stuff in them. And, then this morning while I was contemplating macaroni and cheese with dinner, I thought it...what can I add that will make it better, and WHAM, my inner hypocrite sounded it's warning Wasn't that Dad? Didn't I mercilessly tease him for not being able to leave the macaroni and cheese alone? Here I was thinking what I could add to make it more wholesome, and perhaps a one pot meal, and I. Was. Him.
I get it now, and I feel like I kind of owe him an apology. I can feel him chuckling under his breath, thinking I finally got it. You know, one of those, "when you're older you'll understand" moments. I am a little sad that I can't call him and tell him, and make him laugh, but I do feel that he is already.
Now...what should I add to my macaroni and cheese?