My mother just recently ushered in her 75th year. When I was a baby, and we were all considerably younger, she wasn’t simply a stay-at-home Mom, she was a part of a growing force back in the late 60’s and early 70’s: the work-at-home Mom. She would occasionally have my beloved Nana next door look after me when the need arose but otherwise, she and my father made a wonderful childhood for me and my older brothers, while together my parents continued to make a living for all of us.
In time, I did return the favor when it came to care-giving. I was only about 4 or 5 years old when my Mom fell and broke her ankle on the ice in the driveway and was laid up for weeks. I didn’t leave her side for a minute. Mostly I remember that I read her stories as she reclined in the living room, but when she’d nap some afternoons, curious, flibbertigibbety child that I was, I’d seize the opportunity, and fly to the bedroom upstairs to get into her shoes and perfume, the latter of which would wake her as the eau de Jean Nate After-Bath Splash wafted down the stair case. “Peter!” I’d hear her cry, unexpectedly roused. “What on earth are you doing up there?” I didn't know how to answer. I was just a kid for goodness sake.
Aw, Mom, I love you. And I love your Macaroni & Cheese.
Macaroni & Cheese
1 box elbow macaroni
1/2 stick butter
4 tb flour
2 cups milk
Italian bread crumbs
Sharp cheddar, sliced not too thick
Preheat broiler and start boiling a pot of water. Melt butter in a sauce pan, add flour slowly and then incorporate milk, all the while stirring to make the roux. Cook macaroni at the same time (about 8 minutes or so after water boils). Drain macaroni and quickly mix together with the roux, while both are still hot. In a lightly buttered oven-safe casserole or souffle dish, layer half of the macaroni with a layer of cheese on top, then add the rest of the macaroni with more cheese on top of that. Sprinkle with Italian bread crumbs. Put in the oven under the broiler until bubbly. It's so much quicker that way, as everything is already cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste, if you wish, and enjoy!