Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Grandma's Homemade Macaroni & Cheese

Callah's middle name is Mackenzie named for my Grandma Scott whose name was Mary Cameron Mackenzie.  Later she became a Scott when she married my grandfather.  When I found out I was pregnant I knew if I had a girl I wanted to name her after one of my amazing grandma's.  I had two lovely names to chose from; my dad's mom is named Frances June which I think is beautiful.
Callah's cheesy smile for our morning cooking macaroni and CHEESE, of course.
My Grandma Scott died when I was 23, I hadn't met my husband yet, started my career, or even considered having children.  When I remember my grandma I think about crossword puzzles, laughter, ice cream, cooking shows, clip on earings and blueberry muffins.

Upstairs in my Grandpa's house are dozens of diaries that my Grandma kept.  Nearly one for every year of her married life.  This summer I flipped to my birthday and smiled at the hastily written entry, "Ann Cameron Watson born around tea time."  She used those diaries to write her book--part cookbook/part memoir, which she self-published and sold at church functions.  The cover below shows the parsonage my mom grew up in, as illustrated by my Uncle MacKenzie.

I have one copy inscribed "to my darling granddaughter Ann," which is precious to me.  It has blueberry and oil stains, pencil marks scribbled in the margins, the pages are dog-eared and well read.  This morning I turned to one of our favorite recipes: macaroni and cheese.  Over the years I have strayed from grandma's recipe, adding paprika, vegetables, chicken stock, and ham.  But my husband never thanks me for these changes and most recently I stick verbatim to her recipe (just as she would want me to do).

Here it is (for 12-14 servings):
3 cups elbow macaroni
6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
4 cups grated cheese

4 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Cook the elbow macaroni according to package (about 6 and a half minutes for al dente).  Then melt the butter.

Add the flour to make a roux.
Add the milk slowly and allow it to warm up, but not boil.
Add the cheese and cook over medium-high heat until it is melted.
Add the cooked macaroni and (if you're clever like me) pop it into the fridge until you're ready to bake it.  The breadcrumbs are simple.  Just tear up some old bread, add melted butter and crumble all over the top of the macaroni.  Throw it all in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  I use my big old everyday pan, but a 9 X 13 works great too.

Nick is frying chicken tonight, and although my grandma usually served this with a baked ham, I still think she would be pleased that her memories, recipes, and name live on in our home.


  1. I loved your entry today. What a lot of nice memories.
    Grandma would love to see you as cook, writer, as well as wife, mother, teacher.


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