In the case of mac ‘n cheese, the child in me would have jumped for making the stuff out of the cardboard box. Mix the orange-yellow-ish powder with hot milk, boil the macaroni in water and voila! —something that looks and tastes like mac ’n cheese. Kind of. But hey, at least it doesn’t involve getting my hands smelly with herbs and I don’t have to grate my own cheese, let alone having to deal with a roux.
My adult side wants something more sophisticated: a little more complexity in flavors (i.e. something other than “American Cheese”) and hell of a lot less artificial chemicals. I am also ever-so-slightly wiser; cheese sauce components should not have a shelf life measured in years. And I would like to make a more versatile, multidimensional entreé too, adding fresh, signature touches to the dish—perk it up with some spices, throw in some meats, or —if I become an evil parent —sneak a few vegetables in. All those customization options reminds me of Color Me Mine, but with art I can eat.
Often, in food and in life, my adult and child strikes a compromise – and so I present the my Adolescent, Half-Baked Mac ’n Cheese.