Why do we call all combinations of pasta baked with cheese, Mac & Cheese?
Macaroni is a specific type of pasta, the little elbows; hence why it’s called “elbow macaroni”. So if we use penne or rotini, why do we still call it “mac & cheese”? It’s a generalization yes, but does this make it incorrect?
There are other generalizations we make all the time.
Trucks, wagons and vans are all called “cars”.
“All men are pigs” (which is also genetically incorrect).
“Dumb blondes” Think of Diane Sawyer, Reese Witherspoon, Gweneth Paltrow, my friend Heather Robelot…all highly intelligent; and why is this always referring to women? Have you ever heard a dumb blonde man joke? Kato Kaelin comes to mind for me.
There are of course distinct differences between “generalizations” and “categorizations”. I think we tend to get them confused at times. All pastas are generalized to “Macaroni” but cheddar, Swiss and gouda are all categories of cheese.
I am inclined to also believe we are prone to over exaggerations of our generalizations. ( I won’t ask you to say that 10 times fast..it’s too stinking early in the morning for tongue twisters). One of the greatest and most rediculous generalizations I hear is “My whole life stinks!”, or “Everything just sucks.” I’m convinced both of these statements are unwritten precepts for teenagers; some secret law they are required to use each of them multiple times per week.
I try to be empathetic but I can’t help roll my eyes. Unless you’re homeless in Siberia, starving, forced into slave labor, alone and have several incurable diseases I seriously doubt anyone’s life “completely sucks”. Our skewed perceptions only convince us they do. Sure we go through bad times, we have days that are more rotten then ripe and both toddlers and teenagers do have to be told “No.” occasionally but overall we are “generally” more blessed.
When I find myself falling into this rabbit hole I try (try very hard) to grab a branch and ask a few simple questions:
“Did I wake up today?” – Yes.
“Are my children and husband healthy and safe?” – Yes
“Do I have a roof over my head and food to eat?” – Yes
Well then everything else is a bonus or will pass eventually; good and bad tend to beget each other.
Therefore keeping things in perspective I made “pasta and cheese” for dinner tonight. Someone may say this is “politically correct” but in realitiy is only “categorically correct.”
One generalization I think is warranted; you are all awesome!!
Thanks for spending time with me on the Dish.
- 2 Cups Any pasta of choice, cooked to package directions, al dente
- ¼ Cups Butter
- ¼ Cups All-purpose flour
- ½ Cup heavy cream
- 1½ Cup milk
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Pepper
- ¼ Teaspoon Paprika
- 1½ Cup Cheddar cheese, grated.
- ½ Cup Swiss, grated
- 5 Slices Bacon
- ½ Medium onion, diced
- 1 Cup Fresh spinach
- ⅛ Cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ C. Panko bread crumbs
- Preheat over to 350
- Cook pasta to al dente, slightly firm, drain, mix with a little oil and set aside.
- Cook bacon to crispy, drain grease and chop coarsely, set aside.
- In a saucepan on medium heat melt butter then add flour and spices to make a roux.
- Add cream and milk and bring to a simmer.
- Add cheeses and stir constantly until cheese is completely melted, if needed add more milk or cheese until sauce is thick but runs off spoon.
- Stir in pasta and onion, combine well.
- In caserole dish layer spinach on the bottom of the pan then top with bacon, leaving 2 tablespoons of bacon aside..
- Spoon pasta over the bacon.
- In a small bowl combine breadcrumbs and parmesan and sprinkle over pasta.
- Top dish with remaining bacon and bake uncovered in oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.