It's come full circle. Tonight one of my own children looked at a delicious plate of homemade macaroni and cheese and said, "Ewww. I like the kind in a box from the store better."
It was only the slightest consolation that in response to being told, "But you always liked macaroni and cheese," the young miscreant revised somewhat more politely, "But I do not prefer it, Father. I do not prefer it at all."
What exactly is the magic of that bright orange powder for the young?
If making macaroni and cheese from scratch sounds daunting, be assured that it is not. It's easy to make the sauce in the time it takes the water to boil and the noodles to cook. Here's the sauce recipe:
In a glass bowl, melt three tablespoons of butter in the microwave.
When it's fully melted, stir in three tablespoons of flour. Grind in pepper. Add half a teaspoon of salt or so (I never measure, so can't swear) and a few dashes of paprika (or cayenne pepper if you want some extra kick) and stir it all up. Microwave for another 30 seconds.
Add three cups milk. Mix and microwave for 1:30 increments, stirring at the end of each round, until it begins to thicken. This will take 6-9 minutes total. While it's doing that, grate one pound of cheddar (preferably sharp or extra sharp.)
When the sauce has got a bit thick and sauce-like, add in the grated cheese in 3-2 rounds, stirring in between. No need to microwave further. Taste and add salt, pepper or Tabasco if desired.
Pour over the drained noodles, or else pour the drained noodles into the sauce, and stir.
There you have it. Great, home-made macaroni. Only according to six and seven-year-olds everywhere, it's not as good as the housebrand stuff from the box. For adults on the other hand, it's delicious.