Tag Archives: deli mac and cheese

Who Moved My Cheese? Deli Mac and Cheese and Pickled Carrots

3 Oct

Livin' the life

Are you part of the solution? Or part of the problem?

I’m pretty confident that I’m part of the problem – in countless ways, but this week’s litany of offenses against the environment and common human decency has been especially lengthy.

You see, Stephen and I are moving this week. We have been slowly shuttling boxes of whatnots and thingamajigs up to Kent Lakes for weeks, but D-Day has arrived, and we are so not prepared. In the madness of packing, most of my cooking utensils have been tucked away in heaving piles of boxes and bags, along with most of my spice cabinet, not to mention my will to live.

They say moving is almost as horrifying and traumatic as a death in a family or divorce. Not quite, but almost. Whoever “they” are, “they” are on to something. And the empirical evidence that I have gathered this week shows that moving may lead to one, or both, of the other major life stresses “they” are always rattling on about.

Stephen and I found ourselves craving super-fatty foods this week. (Fear that sinking our life savings into a pile of timber is a bad idea, driving us to hit the Twinkies harder than usual? Burning more calories by putting large objects in cardboard containers and repeatedly lifting and setting them down? The tingling, almost effervescent sensation of giddy, apocalyptic, murderous mania that always sweeps me up in a funnel cloud of personality disorders and impulsive eating when I move? Don’t know, don’t care. Give me that tub of butter and a big wooden spoon, or move aside.)

Every time I look over at my better half, he seems to be cramming something vaguely grotesque yet droolingly delicious into his mouth, and I’m right there with him: on Saturday evening, we each managed to put away granola bars, Tootsie Rolls, cups of steaming hot coffee, the last juicy nectarines of the season, quivering trays of chicken and shrimp dumplings, a giant vat of curried udon noodles swimming in a seafood-flecked oily broth, a thick bacon grilled cheese sammy, generous slices of carrot cake and toasted salt bagels with warm slatherings of veggie cream cheese. Unfortunately, some of the gluttony occurred in front of Brenda and J., friends we met in China, who were hanging in NYC for the weekend. While they delicately sipped green tea and sampled a few dumplings, Stephen and I guzzled German beer and attempted to cram the entirety of FoodParc into our mouths.

No ordinary joint of meat or tub of dressed noodles would do this Sunday. We needed food fit for construction workers, pyramid-builders, Michael Phelps. (Did I mention that we’re moving everything ourselves? Don’t be jealous. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds.)

Strangely, I have also been craving pickled carrots – I love homemade pickles because I can control the level of tang (I like lots of bright acidity), the heat (crank it up) and the overall texture (crunchy, but not hard as a rock). I just love pickles, okay?

An open jar of pickles on the floor adds a much-needed touch of class to moving day

To silence both cravings, I made Deli Mac and Cheese and …. Pickled Carrots.

The crimes against the environment, basic tenets of Epicureanism and common human decency were committed due to the disappearance of many of my knives, my grater and my casserole dish, in addition to the time, patience and care required to gather ingredients from a market. I hit a deli next to my new job and asked them to slice up Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese, thin, and I made do with that; I bought overpriced, dodgy deli macaroni, the cheapest one they had; I shamelessly raided the coffee station in my (now former) apartment building on three separate occasions for tiny plastic, evil vats of half and half (hell’s no was I paying $3.00 for a quart of milk at the deli), and gathered the rest of the ingredients from the remnants of my pantry.

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