Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Hello, Ida

The air has a gathered poise, like a stiff-backed great aunt sitting in a chair watching you approach with what she's sure is to be disappointing news.

The rain is coming.
The storm might be one that settles in like a houseguest, because I was suddenly craving macaroni and cheese.

I put a half pound or so ditalini on to boil and fetched the white American cheese from the fridge, slicing about a quarter pound off thinly. When the pasta was done and draining, I rinsed the pan and put it back on the stove with a half cup ish of butter over medium low heat. I tore the slices of cheese slowly into the butter and added some minced garlic and a splash of milk. I whisked it all slowly, adding another splash of milk to help it all come together, then folded the pasta in by small portions until everything was mixed through. In another life I would have put the whole mix into a baking dish and covered it with seasoned breadcrumbs (from the croutons that are always about from the leftover bread making), dotted it with more butter and baked it gently for a bit. But today is not that day. I scooped a little less than half the mix into a bowl and enjoyed it just as it is. It's a delicious, creamy foil to the damp grey day, not that I'm cold exactly, but there's a nagging chill that seems to clutch at my ankles, calling to mind old herb-collecting women who wear thick socks and rain boots with skirts.