July 14, 2017

Poetry Friday--It's National Mac and Cheese Day!

Inspired by Tabatha Yeatts' post on donuts two weeks ago, I have decided to celebrate another beloved food--macaroni and cheese. July 14 has been designated as National Mac and Cheese Day and I'm celebrating with a non-caloric mac and cheese poem! I hope other bloggers will be celebrating the day, too.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Text:

It's All about the Crumbs

Macaroni and cheese is
a diet-busting
cheddary
toothsome
tongue coating
easily going
down the gullet
dinner-time staple.

Go the extra step
and finely crush
a sleeve of crackers
sprinkle them over
the top, dot with
butter and bake
until the crumbs
are golden brown.

What you now have
is a magnific
mac and cheese.
That little crunch
surprises the palate
pleases the plebeian
gratifies the gastronome
exemplifies America.


Who knew I'd be writing a patriotic poem? If I were to go back, I probably would have used a word other than magNIFic. [Imposing in size or splendor : exalted.] It's not common, and people will probably read it as magnificent, or magnifique. Magnifique sort of negates the American emphasis of the poem. What word would you suggest?

My favorite addition to macaroni and cheese is fresh tomatoes. What's yours? Or do you prefer it plain? The good old blue box kind? Cheddar, American? What cheeses go into your mac and cheese? Do you make a cream sauce first? And as for the crumbs, I like the original Ritz crackers, but you may have another preferred crumb. What a versatile dish! I even love it cold.

I feel badly for those with dairy allergies. At least there's now plenty of gluten-free varieties of macaroni for those with gluten or wheat issues.

If you're short on time, you can whip up a single-serving size in a microwaveable coffee mug. I've done it and recommend you give it a try! Here's the simple recipe I've used (your quantities and cooking times may vary):

In a large mug or deep bowl (a Pyrex one-cup measure works well), stir in 1/3 cup uncooked macaroni and 1/2 cup water. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir, then microwave for an additional 2 minutes.

Stir in a scant 1/4 cup milk and approximately 1/2 cup shredded cheddar. Cook one minute more.

You can add crumbs at this point and put the mug under the broiler, but that makes for more prep, risks burning the crumbs, and, results in a mug that is too hot to handle. In other words, skip the crumbs.

Word of warning: you may need to soak your mug for a while after eating, although you could probably begin by greasing the mug.

Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up, so head over there for more non-caloric poetry treats!

34 comments:

  1. I agree--crumbs make all the difference! But tomatoes in Mac and cheese? I've never tried that. Loved the poem!

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    1. The only negative to the tomatoes is that they get extremely hot, so you have to be careful!

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  2. Sounds wonderful Diane, I'll pass it on to my daughter who's a big mac and cheese pleb. I like the tongue-twisting rhythm of this poem too, thanks!

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  3. We always had Ritz crackers crumbled on the top of ours before baking! Sooo good. Better than the instant powdered cheese stuff nowadays - though that is good too.

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    1. So maybe the Ritz crackers are a northeast thing?

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  4. I never heard of using Ritz crackers for a coating, Diane. It sounds delicious though. Your poem had just the right touch of alliteration. Hooray for good ole' American comfort food. Thanks for suggesting this fun Poetry Friday.

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    1. Comfort food has much going for it--taste and memories!

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  5. We put bacon and tomatoes in our mac n'cheese today, with plain yogurt, grated cheddar and havarti. Have to keep it fresh and interesting.

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    1. Oooh, bacon! I wonder why I never thought of that?

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  6. I like the sounds and rhythms you use in your poem, Diane. Thanks for the mug o' mac recipe. In addition to mix-ins that folks have already mentioned, I'll say broccoli.

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    1. Try the mug method and let me know what you think. It's not bad for something so quick and easy.

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  7. Crumbs. Who knew? ;) As to what you can mix-in... I say, what can't you? ;) #anythinggoesinmykitchen I am known to grate carrot and zucchini into a wealth of foods, for a subtle little hint of healthy. And I agree about the tomato - right close to the top with the crumbed cheesy topping.

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    1. Absolutely! It's like a neutral wall-cover. Dress it up however you want!

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  8. Diane, this is so much fun! Love the title too. I love ham in my mac-n-cheese... or tuna. I lived on the blue box kind when I was a college student working at Disney. (Terrible pay, but great job!) xo

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    1. I don't know about the tuna, but I'm definitely a ham fan!

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  9. You asked of opinions, so here are mine. Since that sleeve of crackers might be (oughta be) Ritz, you could change "magnific" to "Ritzy"! Fun poem. Who knew mac and cheese would make you patriotic!

    I have just (JUST!) entered adulthood and made my first batch of from-scratch mac and cheese. (I know. I hang my head in shame.) But now...the possibilities seem endless! I can't wait to play with added ingredients, kinds of cheeses, and shapes of pasta! The sky's the limit...or perhaps the SCALE is, because this could get...weighty, shall we say? (Thank you for that dangerous mug-o-mac-n-cheese recipe! Great way to try small batches!!)

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    1. Some pasta shapes work better than others--the cheesy sauce can fill up the tube kinds rather than slide off!

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    2. And a definite yes to Ritzy!

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  10. I dissent! A mug-o-mac? Everyone knows that the whole point of mac and cheese is that it entices you bite by bite to eat more than you should. A mere mug would only get in the way!

    But I love your poem and the way you dress it with a sleeve of crackers. Our favorite add-in, for the vegetarian in the house and her protein needs, is a beaten egg and a hint of mustard.

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    1. A beaten egg sounds healthy, good choice!

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  11. Oh....drooooooool....

    Alas my mac and cheese repertoire consists entirely of that blue box of Kraft dinner, though I remember whipping up a casserole dish of real mac and cheese, with a cream sauce base and a crunchy top and everything. But that was back in home economics class, and I've never tried it again since! Maybe I'll start with that delicious mug of mac and cheese recipe first. :-)

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  12. I've never had it with tomatoes, but I think I'll give it a try next time. I've also never used cracker crumbs, only bread crumbs, so I'll try that too. Sounds delicious!

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    1. Definitely try it, Linda. Don't crush the crackers too fine or you'll lose the crunch!

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  13. Tomatoes on mac and cheese--I never would have thought of that! I've been adding a bit of broccoli lately, and topping with panko and parmesan. No Kraft for me--but I'm not sure it's ever as toothsome and cheddary as your glorious photo. Your poem is making me hungry.
    Thanks for sharing the mac and cheese theme!

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    1. I like reading all the different takes on mac & cheese found in everyone's posts. A versatile food and a versatile subject!

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  14. YES to tomatoes and YUM to Ritz crackers! Thanks for sharing this holiday, and your oh-so-tasty poem.

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    1. There was so much to celebrate, a haiku wasn't big enough!

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  15. Yummy! I may have to try the mac n cheese in a mug. My favorite variation combines mac n cheese with another favorite, pizza. Use the mac n cheese as a base for a crust and top with sauce, pepperoni and more cheese!

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    1. That sounds like a great combination, Kay! The mac & cheese replaces the crust. Recently I've seen mac & cheese used as a topping on a hamburger. In a bun! Altogether too many carbs in that combo!

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  16. Interesting dish, Diane! I think magnific goes perfectly with mac and cheese. Well done!

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  17. Yes, let's go the extra step. :-) Ritz make everything better.

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  18. Plebeians and gastronomes, unite! Love this, Diane - and when I'm making mac 'n cheese for myself, I add in all sorts of things: tomatoes and tuna one night, salsa the next, ground hamburger & grilled onions...the possibilities are endless!

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