I am a freelancer in the publishing industry, so words are very important to me. I'm a leftist living in a world gone mad, so politics are very important to me. I'm an environmentalist living in a degrading world, so pick up your damn trash, get rid of your gas guzzlers, and don't touch ANWR, you self-absorbed capitalists!

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02 February 2006

Blogichef Recipes

I’ve been spending my time visiting some British blogs for a while, and e and KW have been very nice to let me blib and blab on their sites, so here is where I submit my two entries for Blue Witch’s Blogichef Quick and Easy Recipes week.

Having been raised in a European household in the US, I’d notice when the cultural edges wouldn’t quite fit, but we (my sisters and I) would come out ahead. For example, where US kids would get pancakes on the weekend, we’d get crepes. And where they’d have that traditional American staple, macaroni and cheese (often, if homemade [which is rare], made with that unnatural Velveeta “cheez product”), in the winter we’d get my mother’s twist on it, which has been reborn for my kids as Bonne Maman’s Macaroni and Cheese.

Bonne Maman’s Macaroni and Cheese

Note: This one is 1) quick and 2) comfort food. No claims as to healthiness are implied

1.5 lbs elbow macaroni
1 brick Emmentaler cheese
1 package sliced ham (for you meat eaters. We vegetarians just leave it out)
bread crumbs

Cook the macaroni al dente. While it is cooking shred the cheese. When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Immediately mix in the shredded cheese. It will start out as a blobby and tangled mess. *Don’t worry*, keep stirring until the cheese (and ham, if you’re a carnivore) is/(are) relatively distributed.

Dump it all into a greased baking dish, sprinkle on the bread crumbs, and pass under the grill until the top is a crispy light brown.

The best way to enjoy it is with ketchup (for the kids) and ketchup and Tabasco sauce (for the adults). A salad on the side would be nice, too.

You may think 1.5 lbs is a lot for 4 people, but man! the kids just snarf it down. Very addictive—just don’t have it every week, is all.

Also, my parents (both of them) really took to American football. Many a Sunday afternoon, my sisters and I would be off in our rooms, while my parents would be shouting and cheering in front of the TV, following every game (every week) with the zeal of born and bred Americans. We’d just roll our eyes.

My father would often make this soup (I’m pretty sure it’s the only time he’d cook on a regular basis) on football Sundays, because he could do the prepping while watching the game. So, in honor of my father’s soup-making skills and the upcoming Super Bowl on Sunday, I offer you Papa’s Sunday Soup. (Yes, he’s Bon Papa now, but this soup was named way before my kids were around.)

Papa’s Sunday Soup

Water (we vegetarians use broth)
Some kind of meat bone (don’t ask me, I never paid very close attention, because even as a carnivorous kid, I was grossed out by the whole sucking out the marrow part)

Wash the leeks and potatoes (I keep the skin on the potatoes, you may prefer to skin them; whatever works—but my way’s healthier). Slice the leeks, cut up the potatoes, traditionally done sitting in front of the TV. You should have the same volume of each (I’m thinking, start with 6 cups’ worth). During a commercial break, place leeks and potatoes, water/broth, (bone, *shudder*), and salt in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cook until veggies are tender. (Take out bone, if you’re using it).

During half-time, blend up the soup (using a Mix-Soup is a lot neater than the US way of using a blender or food processor). My father would always leave it a bit chunky because he knew I liked it better that way (Awww, isn’t he sweet? No, I was the oldest, so of course my desires should take precedence over my sisters. It’s just the natural way). Serve up and eat in front of the game, maybe with some hot bread, or add croutons (our favorite when we were kids). Whatever you do, make sure you are focusing on the game (dampening out any other sounds) while the inevitable Sucking of the Marrow from the Soup Bone ritual takes place beside you on the couch.