Friday, 29 June 2012

Macaroni 1: Meltdown 0!

Ladies and Gents, I have to warn you that this post may take on the form of a bit of a rant. It's been a funny few days; an emotional rollercoaster, some may say. And not due to anything specific, either. Just the culmination of a hundred little niggling issues which combined to induce a melodramatic meltdown of epic proportions, which it turned out that only food could cure.

I'm very aware that committing any of these minor catastrophes to writing will decrease their significance to the extent that my reaction will make me feel psychologically unhinged. However, suffice it to say that after hearing (after 3 weeks of to-and-fro phonecalls; actually, mostly to- and not much fro) that the passport office have lost my marriage certificate (apparently due to posting it back normal delivery, even though I paid for courier service), then rushing to source a last-minute van after finding out that my Dad wanted his house move to take place this weekend, only to be informed by Mr P that we've got guests coming ("I told you weeks ago!"/"I'm pretty sure you didn't!"), organising the time off to do the move early next week instead, then finding that Dad had already roped in extra 'volunteers' for Saturday, but managing to put them off as nicely as possible, then finding out that next week's conference paper, whch I thought was 90% done, was actually 18 pages of vapid nonsense, I was not in the best of spirits.

But hark! What is that I hear? Is it the sound of an email notification from Schuh alerting me to their 25% off sale? And lo! Do my eyes deceive me, or are the shiny red lovelies that I have been aspirationally referring to as my "Birthday shoes" included in said sale? Could it be that my day was suddenly taking a turn for the much, much, better?

Erm, no. Because they only had three sizes left, and mine wasn't one of them. Cue: meltdown!

In a situation like this, there is only one cure: comfort food, and lots of it.

Meltdown-busting Macaroni cheese
(serves 2)

2 cups dried macaroni
1 des sp butter
2 tblsp sunflower oil
1 des spoon plain flour
2 cups milk (I used soya milk)
3 des spoon nutritional yeast
1/2 dessert spoon paprika
1/2 tsp mustard powder
good shake of black pepper
grated cheese (mature cheddar) a block about 2cm x 2cm x 8cm (you can't be expected to wigh such things when you are having a meltdown)

1. Cook the macaroni in boiling water as per the instructions on the packet - don't over cook it though, as it should be a little al dente.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat, then add the oil. Stir in the flour and mustard powder to form a thick roux.

3. Add in the milk, stirring continously, then stir in the paprika, pepper, and nutritional yeast.

4. When they are all blended in well, stir in the grated cheese. If the meltdown is serious, you may wish to grate some more to sprinkle over the finished dish as a protest against class and decency (I did).

5. When the macaroni is cooked, remove both pans from the heat. Drain the macaroni thoroughly and add it to the pan of cheese sauce, and mix until all of the macaroni is completely covered.

6. Serve in a large bowl, and eat with a big spoon. You will feel immediately a lot better.

7. If you're not quite up to 100% mental fitness after the macaroni cheese, then fry up a big batch of popcorn with inordinate amounts of salt, and treat yourself to a teacup of Galliano vanilla liqueur on the side.

What?! Are you looking at me funny?

No, seriously, I'm better now.

Or am I?

Yeah, honestly I am.


  1. Can you actually believe this... the email I sent Schuh asking if the lack of my size on their website reflected a genuine lack of my size across thr country received a response. Apparently, the last pair of size 8 shiny red t-bar shoes in the country is winging its way to me right now! Macaroni really does work miracles ;)

  2. mmmmmacaroni, + cheese +paprica+mustard=happy

  3. P! I'm so happy to see you guys using nutritional yeast! - L.

  4. L, nutritional yeast was probably the best tip you've given me. At least since you pointed out Pin Up Girl clothing...

  5. L, nutritional yeast was probably the best tip you've given me. At least since you pointed out Pin Up Girl clothing...