I have been suffering with a severe case of gastroenteritis since Friday last and today is the first day I am feeling even half back to normal. I don't think I've ever felt so sick in my life. It began on Friday afternoon and rapidly went downhill from there. I can't even begin to tell you how bad it was . . . but when I don't want to cook or eat . . . you know something is terribly wrong.
Today is the first day that I have gotten dressed or out of bed. The poor Toddster had to cook his own chops the other night . . . he didn't seem to mind overly much and has been a real sweetie pie bending himself over backwards running back and forth to the shops fetching me Lucozade, Orange Juice, Gingerale, etc. What can I say . . . the man's in love. ☺
I was beginning to feel rather peckish today though . . . having only eaten one piece of toast and a small pot of yoghurt since Friday . . . I thought I better have something to eat, although I do admit to having been a little afraid to eat anything, you know how it goes . . . but the more I thought about my comfort foods, the more I wanted to make myself some.
Comfort foods. They aren't the same for everyone are they. To one person it might be eggs on toast, to another beans on toast. To me . . . comfort food is Macaroni with Tomatoes and Cheese, which is pretty much exactly what the title says . . .
Macaroni, cooked . . . and mixed with a big nob of butter, a tin of chopped plum tomatoes, some minced onion, seasoning and cubed cheddar cheese, sprinkled with some buttered cracker crumbs and then baked . . .
Until the cheese is a molten mass of ooze, slightly tinged with the flavour of tomatoes . . . I like my onion raw in it, because I am rather fond of the sharpness of it. It goes rather well with the cheese . . . some people would like meat in theirs, but I just like it the way it is. I had a small bowl of this for my lunch today . . . and I confess . . . I will probably have another bowl of it for tea.
*Comfort Macaroni with Tomatoes and Cheese*
Cook the macaroni until al dente according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Stir in the knob of butter, along with the tomatoes, onions and cheese. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in half of the crushed crackers and then pour the whole mixture into the casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining crackers. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese is nicely melted and the crackers are golden. Serve hot or warm.
Note - When I was a child my mom would have used velveeta, and by all means use this if you wish. I can't get velveeta over here so I just use strong cheddar because I love it's flavour.
Comfort is different things to different people however . . . and I'm afraid Todd doesn't find much comfort in macaroni with tomatoes. Macaroni pudding is a different story however. A week or so ago we got to talking about old school dinners.
Todd actually loved school dinners when he was a boy at school all those years ago. In fact, that was the only hot dinner he had most days, and he would have a simple supper of bread and jam or whatever when he got home from school, his mother relying on the school to have provided him with a sturdy and nutritious dinner.
One of the things he did love most about his school dinners was the pudding . . . it was his favourite part. Junket, or Spotted Dick . . . perhaps an Eve's Pudding, or Rice Pudding . . . usually something stodgy and . . . yes . . . comforting.
He told me about a Macaroni Pudding they often had and that he remembered fondly. Now for a man that hates pasta, this got my attention and I went on a search. This is what I found. It's quite similar to a rice pudding, except it uses macaroni.
It must have been good, because . . . the Toddster ate two bowl's full without blinking an eye. Comfort . . . it means different things to different people aye?
*Creamy Macaroni Pudding*Serves 4 to 6
An old favourite from Todd's school dinner days. Don't knock it until you try it!
Cook the macaroni until soft, according to the package directions. Drain well and rinse. Drain again. Heat the milk over medium heat along with the butter and sugar. Once the butter has melted remove from the heat. Whisk a portion of the hot mixture slowly into the beaten eggs to temper, then whisk the eggs back into the warm milk. Add the cooked macaroni, raisins, lemon zest and vanilla. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Pour into the buttered casserole dish. Dust the top with grated nutmeg and then bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until set and golden brown on top. Serve warm.
I do apologize to anyone who is waiting on specific posts from me. I will be on to them as soon as my tummy and time allows! Sorry for the brief hiccup!