Monday, January 24, 2011

Food Nostalgia



Living outside the US means that many of the foods I used to love, and some I never knew I loved until I couldn’t have them, are no longer available to me.  I would love to be able to claim that there are all kinds of wonderful things here to replace the things I miss, but this is Denmark, and other than a really expensive Michelin restaurant and a breakfast pastry, let’s face it, this country isn’t known for it’s food.

To fully understand the Mac & Cheese story, I have to go back to about one week before Christmas.  Ole and I were in a grocery store that has a British/American section.  Comparatively speaking, a rather small section considering the size of the two countries it represents, but I digress.  In that section were boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, the actual thing, and it could have been mine for some insane price.  I don’t recall the exact pricing, but it definitely came out to more than $5 per box.  I know this only  because I was pointing out to Ole that I could buy Mac & Cheese boxes in the states for 99 cents.  Perhaps not the actual Kraft box, but still!  And, he didn’t really believe me and reminded me that it has probably been at least 5 years since I bought a box of Mac & Cheese. 

We then took our whirlwind, snow-packed trip to the Northeastern US for Christmas with the family and we, of course, went to a few stores while we were there.  One of which was Target.  Ahhh Target, how I miss you.  Lo and behold, there it was… 99 cent Mac & Cheese.  I probably would’ve let it sit on the shelf after pointing it out to Ole, but he insisted I bring home a few boxes, and so I did.

You have to understand that when I was a kid, the tradition in our family was that on your birthday, you got to have your “favorite” dinner.  My brothers usually chose lasagna, which meant several hours of prep work by my mother.  Me?  I chose Macaroni and Cheese and no, not some home-made version.  It had to be the bright orange stuff that comes out of the box!  (Yeah, my Mother got off easy on that one!)  Mac & Cheese was my FAVORITE dinner.  But, that was probably between ages 5 and 10.

So, here I am, back from our Christmas trip, and I have 4 boxes of Mac & Cheese.  I wasn’t overly excited about it because it’s been years since I’ve had it, and I pretty much assumed that whenever I did get around to making it, it wouldn’t be as good as I remembered it.  When something has that much history, and that much hype, it rarely lives up to it’s promise.

But tonight… tonight I had Mac & Cheese.  By myself.  And it was… YUMMY!   Now all I can think is – why did I only bring back 4 boxes?????

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