The Good, The Bad, and the Macaroni and Cheese

, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

This just in, fresh from the “Don’t Cook Like This At Home!” category, this is some of the nastiest looking mac and cheese I have ever seen in my entire life. And, yes, it’s from my stove as well. Allow me to explain (and forgive me for using the word “fresh” in relation to this, as you will see, it’s anything but. In fact, the word “fresh” should be banished entirely from this blog post forever more. Well, except for me now telling you it needs to go away that is.)

The other day, I was running late. I was hungry and tired and really really just wanted something quick to eat. No problem, I thought. I have some of those “shells and cheddar” boxes stacked up in the pantry, set aside for just a time like this. I’m all stocked up and it will only take me about 10 minutes to cook something like this. So, without looking, I grabbed a box out of my pantry, that infinite space where I can stash away canned goods and non-perishable items for eons. Yay! All good to go, right?

Heh. WRONG! Boy, was I ever wrong.

For starters, it was late and I was tired so I didn’t look too closely at the box. I sort of half-read the directions, printed on the bottom, without looking too carefully at anything else. It told me to boil some water, put some milk in, and after a few other “rub you belly and pat your head” events, the entire thing was supposed to “boil up” on the stove and then I was supposed to wait something like 10 minutes for dinner.

Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah. How does that old saying go? “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.” I waited for what seemed like an eternity (ahem, read: 10 minutes) and then the good instructions said I was supposed to leave this mess out on the counter for 5 minutes to cool or do some sort of carnival tricks (actually, good money is on “cool” but, you know, just in case your box of dinner does something different, I want to cover all of the bases here.)

As the mess (and I do mean “mess” in the literal sense here, not speaking metaphorically at all) started to cool, I realized something. The box, the outside of the box, a box I had only bothered to half-read and even that counts only as “half” if you consider I squinted at it in something resembling proper kitchen lighting, clearly said on it, “Shells and WHITE Cheddar.” The WHITE being the operative word here (yes, in case you’re wondering, the capitalization is all mine.) White. White. Isn’t that a color that’s not like really yellow?

So now I start to wonder. Hmmm. What have we here?

I can’t say that I pretend to even know what it is, but I can say, with some confidence, that it’s clearly not white. Nope, not white at all. Perhaps a spiffy yellow, we got ourselves a “light golden” winner. Ding! But, white? Nope, not a chance. Nothing white here, move along folks, nothing much to see that’s white here.

So, like did the box lie? Did it maybe tell a little fib of some kind? Or was I really on crack and this “pot of gold” actually morphed itself into some kind of wild, funky ass crystal meth that I just didn’t know about?

Here’s the situation. It was late, I was tired, and I had me some oddly yeller mac and cheese. What’s a girl to do?

Since it was late at night, I can totally admit to having been painting, drawing, or otherwise doing something photography-related until odd hours of the day that day. Hey, that’s what I do, right? No surprise there. Well, the surprise comes in with the fact that I sometimes don’t really have the best of noses-I loose my sense of smell sometimes when I’ve been dealing with paint fumes or photo-related chemicals all day long. It just kind of goes with the territory (try sniffing some paint thinner if you don’t really believe me here.) Now, as you can imagine, one good whiff of this thing with a fresh nose resulted in, let’s just say, something I really didn’t want to get all that close to and leave it at that, ok? (Eeeuf. What a stinker.)

That’s when I looked at the box. I mean I really looked at the box. Actually, I take that back. I looked at the EXPIRATION DATE on the box. Expiration date? Who knew these “shells and cheese” boxes even expired? Did you know this, great snowflakes, and forget to enlighten me, Queen Flake, as to this situation? Oh the shame! A closer look at the expiration date revealed something interesting. The “Shells and WHITE Cheddar Mac” had actually expired in February. February 23rd in fact. February 23rd in the year 2002.

Ha! Ooops. So much for the idea of “non perishables” in the pantry for dinner.

And so I offer you this humble advice. If you find yourself painting until near midnight and also find yourself hungry and in need of some food, might I suggest you skip cooking anything at that point? Thundercloud, some fast food locations, and even doughnut shops, yes, they’re open that late/early in the morning. You’d be much better off, trust me on this one. Unless of course you actually like YELLOW colored stinky “Shells and WHITE Cheddar” macs. And, as for me? Yeah, you guessed it. I went to bed hungry that night. No way I was going to partake of something that came from the decade that brought us Avril Lavigne, that’s for sure.

Until next stinky, stinky time…


  1. Great Grandma Lin
    November 21, 2011 / 5:54 pm

    you are too funny…you made a whole article out of just one little event and it was hilarious! I'm married so I get to cook or fix three meals a day. I'm also diabetic so I have to eat regulary but nuts of any kind make a quick healthy snack though high on calories…lol! Now incorporate your expired boxes into an art piece…I dare you…ha ha ha!

  2. Carol
    November 22, 2011 / 12:34 pm

    Thanks, Lin! Yes, I'm big on "story time" here when I'm not busy painting or taking photos. I eat a lot of nuts too, especially almonds and walnuts.

    As for the boxes, I only have one and, sorry I believe it has been out to the recycling bin, so I don't know if I can incorporate it. I can try to use some cardboard box-like items in one of my encaustic pieces. Next time I'm out working with found objects, I'll try to do some of that so you can see what it looks like.

  3. CraftyGuy
    November 24, 2011 / 2:39 pm

    Well, now we know that the cockroaches will *not* be feasting upon boxed mac and cheese after the apocalypse!

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