Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Boys will be Boys - Mac and Cheese and Yummy Goodies

This is an old post that I really like.  It brings back good memories, memories of that class and memories of good sweets.  I hope you enjoy it.

I decided to split this post in two parts, one here and the other in My Sweet and Savory.  All the recipes have gluten and I will post those over at My Sweet and Savory and I will tell most of the story here. I teach all boys, so having a baking day is going to be different than if there were some girls in the group.  It is very interesting how some boys can bake, by themselves and others don’t have a clue about any aspect of baking.  Regardless, they all jumped in and put their efforts into turning out a lavish dessert table.  I would say that this fifth grade smorg of desserts was quite a success if not a bit misshapen or mis-sized.  Some of their “major mistakes” still came out, not only to be edible but to be delicious and the right consistency.   
How does one go about arranging such an event?  The very first step is to give the rules.   Since, on the next day, we were having a barbecue, my first rule was: You will leave my house clean or tomorrow, there will not be a place to have a barbecue.  They managed to pull this off, granted not to my standards, but with a love of cleaning.  I should have taken photos of the “clean” dishes, with bits of chocolate on them or dirty water sitting in the bowls.  On the other hand, one boy chose to clean an  entire area, including a microwave, we did not use.  He was impressive.  That area was spotless.
One ten year old was so independent and obviously knowledgeable of baking that he made the King Arthur Flour chocolate chip cookies, all by himself.  He did not ask for any help which was probably important since there was a steady chorus of boys calling me for help.  The same boy was in charge of the baking committee and when we went shopping, he took all the recipes along and made sure, we had all of the necessary ingredients.  This is one special young man.
I made the boys and mac and cheese for dinner.  There were a few problems there.  They told me how they liked their macaroni and while an easy recipe, it is nothing like what I make.  I use cheddar or some other kinds of cheese.  They wanted American.  It had to be standard elbows.  I like to be a bit more exotic.  No spices was the word of the day …… OK, no spices.  More salt …..tons….wouldn’t do it.  Then, I needed a recipe for an easy mac and cheese.  Mine are not challenging but they have life to them which means a bit more cutting and mixing.
 Mama Marini’s Macaroni and Cheese
 Mac and Cheese Muffins
 Paula’s Tomato Mac and Cheese
 Triple Cheese Bake
 Mickey Mouse’s Mac and Cheese
 Spaghetti and Cheese
 New York Pasta
 I googled easy macaroni and cheese.  Today, I can’t find what I ended up using but this is a similar recipe, the difference being, there was no flour in ours.  Also, note, I could not find one with American cheese although, I am sure they are there.
 Easy Macaroni and Cheese Recipe #152532
 2 16 ounce boxes macaroni (uncooked)
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
 3/4 cup butter  (margarine)
 3  cups shredded cheddar cheese   American
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.   (in oven, in roasting pan at 350 degrees)
  2. Make macaroni according to package instructions but cutting cooking time by three minutes.
  3. Stir in flour and salt.
  4. Add milk and macaroni to roasting pan. Reduce heat, and cover.
  5. Add cheese, and stir until cheese melts.
  6. Bake for  one hour.
  7. Serve.
It was easy and functional but not as much fun to make as my other recipes.
 For the actual baking, we broke up into five groups of two and I had one young man for my assistant.  It turned out that my assistant was a capable baker and on his own and with not one drop of help, made King Arthur’s Flour chocolate chip cookies.  The other ten had me at their beck and call for the entire time and believe me, they called, all ten of them, in unison.
Another group needed to make “buttermilk” out of a non dairy milk and put the milk in, mixed it and then put in the vinegar.  They found this out, themselves when reading the directions, after the fact.  Their brownies came out all right, despite this.
 Another group made two identical recipes that looked very different in batter form.
 Each group was given two recipes but expected to make one.  They got two copies of the recipe so they would both be able to follow.  This did not stop them from making some interesting mistakes.  The cutest was:
 I only had one mixer available so I made sure that only those who needed the mixer and could not make the recipe without it, got to use it.  The others did it by hand.  When I told one boy to do it by hand, he did, literally.  He did not understand that mixing by hand meant having a spoon in it.  He took both his hands and dug in to mix it and then proceeded to wash his hands in my basin filled with dishes.  Another boy kept telling him that he should not do it that way and Mr. Dirty Hands kept insisting, I told him to use his hands.
There are so many different personalities.  Fortunately, this is a great class with marvelous kids.  Even in the best groups, there are problems but it is clear that these “problems” are needy kids.  There is the boy who always pushes himself to get the prize, the cake, the goodies, first.  He is the one that puts down other children.  He, also, doesn’t understand why I am perturbed with him and rationalizes what he did.  It is good that he can be cute because he is hard to feel close to.  I am not sure what he is lacking in his life, but I believe, there is something and feel badly, I could not have filled that gap to some degree, this year.
 The remaining boys are special, each in his own way.  They are aware of proper behavior and work hard at practicing this, in class.  They are children and of course, make poor choices, at times but I am impressed with them, both as a group and as individuals.  They, too are appreciative and express their gratitude.
 Part 2 will be about the barbecue.  I am going to let some photos do the talking.                                                 


  1. Absolutely cute and fun. My girl would love to have join in the fun. :-)
    Come & Play: Thursday Two Questions

  2. Thanks for stopping in to show off your recipe at These Chicks Cook. Looks like you had quite the spread! Hope you can come back by and share another recipe Wednesday. Have a wonderful week :)

  3. I am sooo late visiting this week! Thanks for linking this up to Fat Camp Friday, see you tomorrow!

  4. That looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing at What's Cooking Thursdays!



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