This weekend, I overheard my daughter telling my mother that she is "not a fan" of my macaroni and cheese. My macaroni and cheese usually comes from a box. So does my mom's, but she has a complicated method of slightly overcooking it and adding extra cheese that results in macaroni and cheese the grandkids love.
I was thinking about this because my husband's favorite macaroni and cheese was his grandmother's recipe. She made it every year for Thanksgiving. Her recipe died with her because it didn't occur to anyone that Grandma Lyda's mac and cheese was going to be conspicuously absent at every Thanksgiving thereafter.
When we were first married, I, having heard of Dennis' "love" for macaroni and cheese got my grandmother's recipe. I remember cooking it for him and being very excited. He liked it, but did not love it. It wasn't his grandma's, after all.
For several years of our marriage, I tried to replicate his grandmother's mac and cheese. I had a lead when he discovered that the mac and cheese made by one of our church ladies was similar to his grandmother's recipe. But the recipe was in approximates and it did not involve a white sauce and I just could never get it to work.
I no longer try to make Lyda's macaroni and cheese and I've stopped making it for my daughter's lunch, too. I've realized that it is a special purveyance of grandmothers to create macaroni and cheese beloved by their grandchildren. This mother is not going to tread on that territory.
But I'm going to keep Grammy's recipe on hand. Someday I'll make it for my grandchildren. I'll tell them about how my grandmother made the best macaroni and cheese in the world.