Monday, 23 August 2010
Mac & Cheese for many on a Crazy Sunday Evening
Our weekend started...erm... not good. I got up in the worst of moods on Saturday morning, which made it not a good idea to go to the shops. In Pick ‘n Pay Lamb loaded Image (1year & 9months old) into one of those small basket trolleys. I thought that this is not a good idea, but moodily said nothing. Going out of P’n P (They are busy with construction) the top-heavy trolley’s front wheels caught and toppled right over. Lamb was pushing and despite her attempt to keep the trolley upright, it toppled forward. Image fell out of the trolley and Lamb also fell face down. No one got hurt, but all of us got a big fright. Image only grazed her face, which resulted in two ugly scabs – one above her brow and one on her cheek. In America I could have sued the store, despite our stupidity of putting the child in a basket trolley. For the rest of the day, Lamb and I were a bit irritated with each other. On the spur of the moment she decided to invite people for coffee on Sunday afternoon. She requested that I bake a chocolate cake, but instructed that it mustn’t be one of my fancy smancy laced with brandy and smothered with ganache gateaux cakes. She wants a ordinary (moist) chocolate cake with caramel condensed milk instead of icing. I then realised that I have never made an ordinary chocolate cake. I went through my books and got a good looking one from Heilie Piennaar’s ‘Too Fresh Too Flop’ baking book. I then decided, whilst we are going through all the trouble, I’ll make something for a light early evening supper. In the meanwhile we learned that friends of ours 1 year & 9 month old boy, Archangel Number One is in hospital. Lamb phoned and told them that they must come and drop 4 month old Archangel Number Two for the night. By the time the guests arrived, I have finished the cake, but not supper. I served very strong Turkish coffee infused with cardamom with the cake. Not everybody had the Turkish coffee though. I made it a bit strong, so I couldn’t really taste the cake, but Lamb assured me that it was nice. I then proceded made the following very delicious very cheesy Macaroni & Cheese for many. (with – many people milling about and many children running & screaming all over the place) Cook 2x 500g packets Macaroni as per instruction in a LARGE pot. Heat 1l full cream milk & 250 ml fresh cream to very warm but not boiling (one of the few instances where the microwave will do). Melt 150g butter in a medium sized pot (not marge), add 1tsp salt and 1tsp dry mustard powder and half a cup of flour. Mix well. Turn up heat add milk & cream and whisk well. Turn heat down. Add 200g grated mozzarella & 300g grated cheddar. Also add 1 grated onion and 6 extra large eggs beaten. Mix well. Cut 250g bacon in strips and sauté lightly. Combine drained macaroni, bacon & cheese sauce and put in a VERY large oven dish such as a roaster. Grate 150g extra mature cheddar cheese and 150g parmesan cheese. Mix with 150 g dry breadcrumbs and sprinkle over macaroni. Bake at 180˚C for 35-40 mins. Serve with a fresh garden salad and a strong vinaigrette to counter the richness of the mac & cheese. Nobody else wanted any alcohol, but I felt a bit freaked with all the caffeine in by body, the children running riot, Lamb and I being irritated, my new broadband 3G not working, so I polished a bottle of crisp Riesling by myself. By the time everyone left, my crocks stuck to the messy kitchen floor and I nearly slipped on a hill of salt which Image created in the passage. Then........ Lamb informed me, she cannot sleep next to a small baby, for she lies awake worrying if everything is OK. She’ll sleep in the spare room, and I have to share with little Archangel Number Two! I think I need another weekend!