Sunday, December 22, 2013

Comfort Food for the Holidays

When I was growing up, I was blessed to live next door to both sets of my grandparents. I am not sure my parents always felt that way, as it did present some unique family challenges, but I loved it. My Grandma Shauver passed away almost 5 years ago, and I miss her terribly. The holidays can be hard when you're missing loved ones, as many of us know.

However, as I set my heart on remembering all the things I loved about her, I can't help but remembering how she loved to cook. She was a particularly excellent baker, and even made my wedding cake. One thing I especially loved was her macaroni and cheese. I collect mac & cheese recipes, but hers remains one of my favorites.

When I was a newlywed, I asked her for her recipe. I was just learning to cook on my own and wasn't very confident in my skills. I will never forget the phone conversation we had:
Grandma: First, cook your macaroni.
Me: How much?
Grandma: It depends on the number of people you want to feed.
Me: Um... all right. What's next?
Grandma: After it's cooked and drained, add some milk until it sloshes.
Me: What? How much is that?
Grandma: It depends on how much macaroni you have.
Me: (confused, but willing to continue) Ok, what's next?
Grandma: Then you add an egg or two.
Me: How many?
Grandma: It depends on how much macaroni you cooked.
Do you sense a theme in our conversation? I will never forget "milk until it sloshes." I seem to recall measuring and writing down a recipe back then, because I just couldn't wrap my brain around listening for milk to slosh. However, it really did work that way, just like she said, and that's how I make it now.

Recently, I made it to take to a church potluck. My dish was emptied quickly, and our pastor said at the end of the meal that several people had asked for the recipe. I was shocked! This is not what anyone would call "gourmet." It's quick to prepare and requires no planning, as long as you have the basic ingredients on hand, which I usually do. I made it because I learned of the dinner on the day it was happening and didn't have time to come up with anything more creative. However, it went over so well, this just might be my "signature" pot luck dish. I couldn't find the recipe I wrote down years ago, but I figured it out again for my church friends, and thought I'd share it with you as well. Click the link below for a printable version. I do hope you enjoy it!

I would love to hear of any favorite family recipes you'd like to share. I enjoy hearing about different family traditions and memories.