Many of us are fortunate in that, as we become aged like fine wine, though some of us age like musty Boone's Farm, we get to experience a wide array of food and drink, expanding the range of our palates, exposing us to new ways of dining and thinking, and making us seem more refined than reality might reflect. When we grow up, we are supposed to leave behind childish things, unless of course we want to be an actor, a professional athlete, or a politician. That means we are supposed to avoid some things we loved as children because we aren't kids anymore, but doggone it that just doesn't work. This is especially true when mac-n-cheese is within your adult grasp.
To most grown-ups and those pretending to be, the above picture is macaroni and cheese, or as the normal, abnormal, and everyone in between should refer to it, "mac-n-cheese". The thought of boiling a half-pound of macaroni to al dente (Italian for how you caress someone during the initiation of, um, well, dang, where's the Barry White CD?), preparing a mixture of melted butter, flour, ground mustard, finely diced onion, a bay leaf, paprika, a tempered egg (one that might have produced Foghorn Leghorn), mix in almost a pound of shredded cheddar, grueyere, or whatever cheese you like, pour it into a casserole, top it with more cheese and a crust mixture of butter and panko bread crumbs, baked at 350, well it does a couple things to me. One, it produces the worst run-on sentence this side of Ulysses. Secondly, I need to clean up after myself, as there is more saliva below me right now than has been sucked out of a month's worth of Dr. Brad Durham D.D.S.'s patients.
However, earlier today, I was reminded of a pair of things I learned when I was six-years-old. The first is that Wiffle Ball is the greatest game ever invented. It's 174 degrees in the shade today, which was the average temperature when us brilliant kiddies would plant the mustard seed of skin cancer and learn the proper techniques of cheating by playing 12 consecutive hours of Wiffle Ball in one-day tournaments that seemed to take place every week. What, you didn't cheat at Wiffle Ball? You didn't really PLAY true Wiffle Ball unless you threw illegal pitches, soaked the runner (hurled the ball as hard as you could at your opponent's cajones) and wrapped enough duct tape around the end of you bat to where, if the L.A.P.D. got hold of it, Rodney King wouldn't have survived to see if we could all get along.
The other can of Endust spray on the memory reminded me that one of the five greatest foods ever invented is this;
Yes, comparing the flavor of the blue box to the "adult" mac-n-cheese (my personal recipe, by the way, with a little help from The Phenom, Alton Brown) reminds of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan's comparison of his man Ric Flair to Hulk "The Roidster" Hogan; "It's like comparing ice cream to horse manure." Yet in a smackdown, Texas bullrope match between the two, I'd take the Kraftmeister at least half the time, because the powdery-cheesy goodness, augmented by copious amounts of butter and a touch of whole milk (before whole milk was outlawed by Congress, PETA, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield) was the closest thing a six-year-old boy could get to a Beavis and Butthead "boioioiinnng" moment.
So I say be a good kid and enjoy the blue box every now and then. Also, do me a favor and help me find that woman who was on Good Morning America the other day who wants to outlaw all junk food so I can send her a 747 filled with boxes of Kraft. You know the type; they go on TV and show their kids pretending to enjoy eating berries off trees, bails of hay and bamboo sticks, approximately 17 years before those kids turn into jihadists or eco-terrorists. While I'm at it, I wonder if anyone stashed away some boxes of Oreos before they got rid of the trans-fat and killed the flavor? A little trans-fat is worth it.....if it saves the children!