Everyone’s a Food Critic

English: Own Camera

It looks a little too orange to me.

My husband, Mike, and I babysat my daughter’s children while she and her husband celebrated their anniversary with dinner and a movie. For dinner, I made macaroni and cheese for the kids. You’d have thought I’d never made
macaroni and cheese before.

At the dinner table, Philip, 7, and Clare, 5, argued about who made the best macaroni and cheese, me or their mom. Clare opted for me; Philip put a thumb down.

“There’s too much milk,” Philip said.

“Well, I think there’s too much butter,” Clare countered. I could see her wavering, coming around to her brother’s point of view.

“Too much milk.”

“No, too much butter. I taste a lot of butter,” Clare said, as if that were a bad thing. Julia Child would be devastated.

Philip got up and showed me the picture on the macaroni and cheese box. “It’s supposed to look like this,” he said. We stared in the pot. I was pretty sure it did.

I was reminded of the times when Mike and I critiqued our cooking. Too much salt? Not enough garlic? What red went better, Shiraz or Merlot? Our critiques were just talking points. We ate the dinner and drank the wine. Philip and Clare, despite there being too much milk or butter, each ate three helpings.

I can only imagine the conversation if I’d made the macaroni and cheese from scratch.

-Flo, mother of 3, grandmother of 9

25 responses »

  1. OOOOh! Mac and cheese from scratch is very good. My mom used to make that. I would help cut up the Velveeta (and eat some chunks while doing so) and get to drop them in. It was SO rich that one bowl would fill a grown man for a whole day. ….sort of. Downside: it was a long process. Once she made the box kind and we (little) kids all loved it….that was the last time she spent an hour making mac and cheese from scratch!


  2. I love kids at the dinner table the way they inspect and dissect everything.. now homemade Mac & Cheese is my fav and I’d never utter a peep to get a bowl 🙂


    • Smart thinking! We had friends who owned a swank French restaurant. Amazingly, mac and cheese was on the menu. She once chided me for always ordering that instead of all the fancier stuff, but their mac and cheese was the best! (On a humbler note, I don’t know any French, so when I saw hericot vert on the menu, I asked the waitress what it was, pronouncing it very Englishy. Amazingly, she responded with a straight face, gave the correct pronunciation, and explained that it was a French style green bean. But I’ll bet YOU already knew that!)


  3. They’re on their way to having articles on 5 star restaurants in glossy food magazines 🙂 Macaroni and cheese is awesome. Especially the cartoon shaped ones. How do they make those?


  4. My kids are macandcheese snobs. They will only eat it from an Annies box in my kitchen. Five star restaurants…Fridays… Diners…. they turn up their noses. We don’t even try anymore. I take my own to the restaurant in a Tupperware where they look at it, sigh and dig in happily. Sorry chefs.


  5. I know for sure that my guys wouldn’t like homemade mac and cheese. Even I have developed a taste for the stuff that comes out of a box.


  6. Pingback: Ruth Institute Blog » Everyone’s a Food Critic

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