Comfort and Joy

Mother Nature played quite a joke on us today.  She sent us several inches of new snow.  While the children were out taking advantage of what (we hope) will be the last snow of the season, I made a nice, big pan of macaroni cheese and worked on my crocheted cowl.

It nearly always takes a while for spring to warm up here in Massachusetts.  So I figured I would get a lot of wear – possibly 9 whole months – out of knitted and crocheted cowls.  They’ll be especially handy for early morning and evening milkings.  I really don’t like my neck to be cold.  And I have an awful lot of extra skeins hanging about just waiting to be used up.  This one is a soy/wool blend in a colour called “African Violets”, which I frogged from a nearly completed sleep sack.  Somehow, it got buried at the bottom of one of my workbaskets and little Jo outgrew it before it could be used…

Just look at these happy faces::

Joséphine - 5 months old tomorrow

Sophie

James

Louis

All rosy from making snowballs outside, and ready to partake in one of our favourite Lenten Friday meals.  I share the recipe with you, below.  I hope you’ll love it, too::

Macaroni and Cheese

4T butter

2T oil

2 shallots, minced

1 tsp garlic, minced

4T flour

1 tsp dried ground mustard seed

4 c. warm milk

2 c. white cheddar, shredded (reserve ½ c)

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

½ c. Swiss cheese, shredded

½ c. light cream

2 lb macaroni, cooked

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Sauté shallot and garlic in butter.  Combine flour, salt pepper, and mustard, and add to pan.  Cook for approximately 2 minutes.  Slowly add warm milk while stirring constantly.  When the sauce begins to thicken, add cheeses, one at a time, stirring until completely melted.  Finish sauce by adding light cream.  Sauce should be very liquid.

Stir sauce into macaroni and let sit 5 minutes.  Pour into a large casserole that has been oiled.  Top with remaining cheese or bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves a family of 10.

James recommends an accompaniment of salade mixte. But perhaps you would prefer yours on a separate plate…