Maybe I can make mac ‘n’ cheese without following a recipe, I thought naively. It was a Wednesday, warm outside and growing darker. I was, as usual, pantsless and watching shows on Bravo about Rachel Zoe/rich housewives/the Kardashians, etc. (I live alone.)
(Well, actually, I live with a 95-lb cat, who if I haven’t mentioned is at all times up for adoption.)
And thus began a new tradition: “whatever Wednesday.” Hopefully by next week this will somehow magically morph into “totally awesome, delicious culinary masterpiece Wednesday,” but not today.
No, this Wednesday I was too lazy to check up on how to make a roux, so I heated up some oil and then added in about a handful of flour. After a while this mixture turned brown and started to separate and smell funny, like burned popcorn. The underdeveloped logical side of my brain kicked in, and I decided to pour this out and start over. With butter and flour. That didn’t really thicken, either.
Well, what the hell! I added in some cheese, anyway. The mixture became stickier, so I added some milk. Voila—that allowed it to thicken a little. Then I added some random spices (meaning, what I had in my cabinet, meaning, garlic salt) and, well, eventually I added some marinara sauce from a jar because I had stopped giving a f*ck about 10 minutes ago.
The sauce wasn’t awful. I cooked some locally made conchiglie pasta that was really excellent and used the sauce sparingly. Then I watched a pro-vegan documentary on Netflix called Vegucated and decided that I never wanted to eat anything ever again. Or, at least I’ll feel guilty for more than 5 minutes the next time I drunkenly break down and guzzle a bacon cheeseburger.
I have a question for anyone with any domestic know-how: why does water boil over like this when you cook something starchy, like pasta? How can this be prevented? I’ve tried adding/subtracting water, but this doesn’t seem to make any difference.