Kraft macaroni and cheese was a staple in my home as a child. It was heaven in a pot. I loved that simple dish and would look forward to it every time. Maybe it was the simplicity of the cooking process or that my taste buds were not as fully developed as they are now, but Kraft mac and cheese was the bees' knees.
Kraft required very few things: water, butter, salt, elbows and the cheese powder substance that came with the box.
If you wanted to make it creamier, throw in a dash of milk, and you were good to go.
This meal was so ingrained in me that even as an adult, leaving my childhood home and managing for myself, it was a must have addition to my shopping cart. I found myself reaching for the five-pack box while on my grocery shopping trips and inhaling the entire contents in one sitting.
Then, I met my husband.
My husband grew up on the Southern way of making macaroni and cheese. (Some may say, the RIGHT way.) Where real ingredients are used, and the last step will be tossing it into the oven.
You could say he showed me the light when it comes to macaroni and cheese.
And, the light did not include Kraft.
My first taste of baked macaroni with REAL cheese was heavenly. You plop a spoonful into your mouth and just close your eyes and enjoy the savory goodness that is macaroni and cheese.
Chew slowly, taste every distinct cheese in it, watch as your spoon scoops up its contents and cheese pulls apart, like moving art.
The smell is simply tantalizing. You cannot help but go for another bite... or two... or three. Once your eyes are opened, you are astounded to find an empty tray and accept the fact that you just devoured such deliciousness in one fell swoop.
That is what homemade macaroni and cheese does to me!
After my first taste, I traded in those blue boxes for real ingredients and began experimenting on my own to come up with a creamier, cheesier concoction that would supersede my last macaroni and cheese attempt.
It has come to the point that whenever I see a Kraft box in someone's kitchen cabinet I cannot help but shake my head and wonder what they could possibly be thinking.
As a Good Samaritan and friend, I offer to make them some macaroni, in hopes that I am able to steer more and more people down the path of cheesy goodness.
I was shown the light and cannot see myself going back to the old ways.