I found this in my files. A essay I had written in highs school on how to make Mac & Cheese, in case you diddn’t know.
“I’m hungry,” April says as we flop carelessly on my queen size bed.
I think for a moment before I say anything. I am hungry, too, but, as usual, my piggy bank is in great depletion of funds. And there is little chance that the strangely colored “leftovers” in the fridge are classified as edible.
“Hmm…” I say; my mind is racing.
Mentally I go through every jar and random container in my room. Then I remember! Jumping off the bed, I dash over to the desk and pull open the top drawer. Franticly throwing papers and a month’s worth of trash out of the way, I see it!
“Gotchya!” I shout triumphantly.
April looks at me with a sideways grin. There in the corner of the drawer is a tiny wood box; I pull it out and reverently flip the latch. Two one-dollar bills lie there, waiting patiently for the day when they will find their purpose. I pull the crumpled currency out and replace the box. I now have a plan: Mac & Cheese!
Mac & Cheese is no ordinary food. It is a staple for any artist, which April and I fancy ourselves to be. Therefore, when I tell her my scheme, she is very impressed and just as enthusiastic as I. We race down the stairs and head for the car, ignoring the fridge as we pass. Who knows what it could spit at us today.
When we get to the store, we head strait for the “Mac,” completely ignoring the doughnuts (another favorite of ours). As we reach the aisle, we stop suddenly at the sight of approximately fifteen different kinds of macaroni. I feel like a kid in a candy store. Only in my case, it is a matter of picking out only one box of elbow-shaped, synthetic happiness. The two dollar bills start to burn in my back pocket, and I suddenly have yet another brilliant idea. The boxes of M & C are only eighty-four cents each, and I have two dollars.
“April” I say.
“Hmm??” Still mesmerized by the shelves of the dry cheese and pasta, she does not look up.
“Got any change?” I ask, crossing my fingers.
“Uh…yeah” she says slowly tearing her eyes away from the brightly colored boxes to look at me.
“Lets get two!” Her eyes get big, and an excited grin works its way up her face.
“Yes!” she breathes.
We count our change as we walk out of the store: twenty-two cents and two pieces of lint; not bad for two boxes of heaven.
When we get to my house I immediately pull out a large boiling pot and fill it with water. Turning on the stove and placing the pot over the flame, I grin mischievously at April. She giggles at our pride in our economic shopping venture. The water takes about 15 minutes to boil, so I sit down next to April and grab one of the macaroni boxes in front of me. I read the back in a voice that sounds very similar to a game show host’s. April stares blankly into space as I read about the benefits of the company’s addition of vitamins to the macaroni noodles. By the time I finish, the water is boiling so I add the noodles to the pot along with a teaspoon of oil.
It is quiet in the house and the silence is almost angst so I walk to the living room and put in a Beatles CD. I turn up the volume so April and I can hear it in the kitchen. As I enter the kitchen I almost gasp as I see the water about to boil over. Luckily I make it to the stove in time to turn the heat down avoiding certain catastrophe. “Boil-overs” are especially dangerous because they can cause water loss, which can lead to the noodles burning!
After recovering from the near disaster, I take a draining spoon and fish out a single noodle, blowing on it before popping into my mouth. The pasta is cooked to perfection and is ready for the final phase of preparation. I turn off the stove then take the noodles and poor them and the water into a drainer in the sink. I am careful not to launch any noodles into the kitchen floor abyss as I shake the drainer. I glance at April who is watching me with keen eyes to make sure I do nothing against mac & cheese code. After all the water is emptied I pour the noodles back into the pot and add one-half of a cup of milk, two tablespoons of butter, and the dry cheese to the mix. I stir it well; making sure the cheese sauce is coating each elbow evenly. April catches my eye. We are both excited that the moment we have been waiting for has finally arrived! I hurriedly get two bowls and two spoons ready. Slowly, almost reverently I scoop out the delicious fare into the bowls, piling mound upon mound of cheesy delight into them. It is finished!
I released a sigh as I take my first bite; closing my eyes, I think about how great college is going to be and how living on mac and cheese won’t ever be a problem for April or me. As April and I hum along with the tunes playing in the background between bites, I decide that the meal I am eating is definitely worth every eighty-four plus cents we paid.