When I was a kid, Grams had a cottage in the same bay as our family cottage, and like all the neighbours back then, was friends with my grandmother. Since I spent summers up at the lake, I hung out a lot at Grams’ while my grandma visited for gin n’ tonics and Rummy 500. I think she called her Peggy. I loved going there, she was right at the point of the bay where an echo lived and she had a screened-in porch overlooking the water with a couch swing … yes an actual swinging couch … Needles to say, I had no problem entertaining myself.
Sometimes Grams would invite us to dinner and would make amazing ‘American’ food that for some reason we never ate at home. I guess at one point my grandmother got recipes from her because I recently found a few among her stuff, all prefixed “Grams”. Immediately I made her Macaroni and Cheese.
Here’s what you need:
- 3 cups macaroni
- 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 2 cans tomato soup
- 8 strips of bacon
- 1 small onion
- salt and pepper
Here’s what you do:
- Cook noodles in boiling salted water until al dente.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon to remove extra fat. I did this in the oven, flipping them once. You want them to look like this:
- Drain the noodles and place in a large casserole dish and mix in the tomato soup.
- Mix in the cheese, place the onion in the middle, and lay out the bacon.
- Place in a 350° oven until it bubbles.
It. Was. So. Good.
I had a food memory. You know like in the mean food critic in Ratatouille when he ate the rat’s ratatouille and his whole childhood comes flooding back to him and he remembers the warmth, love, and kindness in it? A food memory.
I had a wonderful childhood growing up at the lake; having dinner at Grams’ then playing cards until it got dark … walking home in the woods without a flashlight, using our ‘special’ short cut through a neighbours’ yard.
This dish reminded me so much of both ladies who I miss tremendously. What a delicious way to keep their warmth, love, and kindness with me.