04.10.09: dinner (subtitle: Good Friday).

Growing up, Lent usually meant that Friday night dinners either were tuna noodle casseroles, English muffin pizzas, or cheese ravioli–simple pleasures that I always enjoyed.   This year, though, after telling my mom that we’d be home for dinner on Good Friday (and having to travel during the normal dinner hour of Easter Sunday), her culinary flexibility allowed us to enjoy a dish that we keep to special occasions:  her macaroni and cheese from scratch.

Hers is not a complicated recipe–just a few key ingredients that yield a delicious casserole–but it’s evolved into a hallowed dish that is a main component of my dad and brother’s birthday dinners (the other being, unsurprisingly, steak).  It’s in fact so simple that one summer when a storm knocked out the power on my brother’s birthday she cooked it out on the grill.  But I’m not going to share it here…at least, not yet.  I’d rather give you a recipe I’ve tweaked with, perhaps added a flavor or two, to see if it’s possible to make a worthy enough variation of the classic to not only appeal to my mom, but the ultimate critic in all things cheese-and-macaroni:  my big brother.

What are some of your favorite M&C recipes/variations?  Let me know in the comments.

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