By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Have you ever come home from a long day and sought out the comfort of some mac and cheese? It’s one of the most elite comfort foods out there, combining the noodle texture of pasta with a gooey cheese covering. Cheese, of course, is used in many great comfort foods, from a basic grilled cheese to a cheesecake. So it’s not a shock that many people seek refuge in a bowl of this glorious noodle dish. But people face two problems when it comes to mac and cheese. they usually make way too much and it usually takes way too long. There is an easy solution to this, though. On Friday, July 24, kids joined a Dover Town Library Zoom program to learn how to make mac and cheese in a mug.
The ingredient list was sent out prior to the beginning of the program. All participants needed was pasta of their choice, cold water, milk, cornstarch, and shredded cheese. From there, Chef Julie would teach them how to make the perfect mug of mac and cheese. “A measuring cup is probably good, too, if you have one,” added Dover Town Librarian Angie Howes.
Julie instructed everyone to pour a bit less than half a cup of water into a container with a third of a cup of macaroni. “This is the most complicated part of the whole recipe,” began Chef Julie. “We’re going to put it in the microwave for two minutes and then stir it. And then put it in for another minute and stir it. And then another minute and stir it. By the time you get to the end of four minutes, you should have no water left and your pasta should be soft.” The Zoom was almost completely silent as the kids completed the step. “It’s literally watching water boil,” joked Chef Julie.
Following this step, the project went much more quickly. The participants added two tablespoons of milk to their macaroni and cheese mixture. Shredded cheese was the last ingredient to join the mixture. “I usually do a handful. Cheese to me is like chocolate chips - it’s personal preference how much you put in,” explained Chef Julie. “If you like really cheesy macaroni and cheese, you can probably add half a cup.” Participants gladly stirred in their preferred amount and type of cheese into their container and prepared to put it into the microwave. “After I microwave it for 30 seconds, I may add more cheese,” said Chef Julie. One kid entertained himself during this step by singing “The Rainbow Connection,” in his best Kermit the Frog voice, earning laughs from his audience.
Finally, it was time for the kids to try their mac and cheese creations. Angie invited anyone to give their thoughts about this recipe. “Mine is cheesy,” said one participant after mixing it. “I’m a food critic, now let me taste,” he joked as he took his first bite. “Very good.”
This mac and cheese tutorial gave participants an easy-to-follow recipe to quickly make one of their favorite snacks. When school is back in session, and they come home after a long day, these kids may find comfort in a mug of comfort food that they can make all by themselves.