Kraft Macaroni & Cheese


Growing up, my all time favorite food was Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

INTERESTINGLY, Wikipedia.org and About.com Inventors say that Kraft was introduced in the US and Canada in 1937 during World War II.  The rationing of milk and dairy products, in addition to an increased reliance on meatless dinners, created a great market for the product, which was considered a hearty meal for families.  Their advertising slogan was:”Make a meal for 4 in 9 minutes.”

By choice and absolute pleasure rather than war time hardships and food rationing, I pretty much lived off of Kraft Mac & Cheese for the large majority of my childhood and adolescence.  I loved all of the special pasta shapes, like pin wheels, spirals, and blue Blue’s Clues dogs, which tasted even better than the original elbows.  Unashamedly, I was able to gobble down an entire box myself, which is most likely why I was such a chunker. But who am I kidding? Kraft remained a staple food group in my life all through college as well.

Ty had never had boxed Macaroni & Cheese, which led me to believe that he had a sad and deprived childhood.  SO, when he came to visit me in the US, we had a Mac & Cheese eating marathon where we indulged in Kraft and two kinds of Annie’s. Luckily he liked boxed macaroni and cheese, which reaffirmed my love for him.

When I moved to South Africa, I began having intense night sweat-inducing withdrawal as the bright yellow, artificial, creamy, cheese left my system.  Luckily, my mom sent us an emergency package full of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese sachets.  Since we had a limited supply, we rationed ourselves to 1 packet per month (like during war times), which enabled us to effectively maintain our supply for nearly 1 year.  It was devastating when we finished our last sachet and were forced to go many months without it.  However, earlier this month, a sweet sweet girl named Ann organized one of her American friends to bring us a few boxes when she came to visit!  Ty and I were unable to control our urges and are down to one box again!  Luckily, my mom’s friends are coming to South Africa JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME to refill our supply!

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (complete with pasta and sachet of cheese)
  • water for boiling the pasta
  • 2 heaped tbl butter
  • 1/2 milk

Directions

  1. add water to a pot and bring to a boil
  2. add the macaroni and cook on high
  3. strain the pasta when it is done cooking and pour it back into the pot
  4. place the pot on the warm burner and add the sachet of cheese, butter, and milk and stir vigorously.  Add more milk if you want the sauce to be thinner
  5. note: I am an extreme purist when it comes to Macaroni & Cheese so I would recommend adding NOTHING else

I’m hungry


My name is Kim and I am an American living in Cape Town, South Africa.

A view of Lion's Head and Signal Hill after an excruciating hike up Table Mountain

I arrived in South Africa on a study abroad program in 2008 and fell in love with the country as well as a man named Tyrone (pronounced Tyran).  Four years later, here I am in South Africa, smitten in my tiny apartment with a barely-there yet perfect kitchen, a small garden, and my Ty.  When I am not cooking or eating, I am studying towards my Master’s in Public Health at University of Cape Town and am honing in on my skills as a Research Assistant at a local research centre.

My Ty and I in Kruger Park

Growing up I lived off of all things unhealthy and easy to cook – Kraft mac n’ cheese, Ramen noodles (AKA two-minute noodles for you South Africans), Chinese food, and frozen pizza bagels – and was a chunker because of it!  My dad and stepmom slowly taught me the pleasures of cooking – the chopping, chatting, spicing, and smells– and most importantly, the beautiful tradition of family dinner.  My mom is my going-out-to-eat partner and I presume is the one who gave me the always-wanting-to-go-out-to-eat genes.  My sister, who is 5 years older than me, let me spend time cooking with her under the condition that I peel her garlic. And Ty taught me how to cook the meanest mince and spaghetti dinner with his secret ingredient Portuguese Chicken Spice …I have some amazing food memories that have resonated in my mind, which I will share with you as time goes on.

As soon as I wake up I begin thinking about food.  After breakfast, I am thinking about what I am going to make for lunch, and after lunch, I am thinking about what I am going to make for dinner, and after dinner, I am thinking about what I am going to make the following day.  I don’t food plan for the week and tend not to write shopping lists but rather am all about buying a plethora of random ingredients and figuring out what fun dishes I can make.  Cooking in my little kitchen soothes my soul and enables me to express myself.  To me, food is not just a basic life necessity but also one of the greatest pleasures in life.  I love to cook because I love to eat but nothing brings me greater joy than cooking for my friends and family and listening to their “food-gasms” as they dig in to one of my creations.

Me at an Indian Food cooking course

It is important that your taste buds are able to express themselves and an amazing meal enables them to do so.  The perfect blend of aromatic flavors will elicit a tongue tantalizing, tastebud teasing, moreish “food-gasm” and I rate the success of my meals by measuring their magnitude.

Despite my limited pallet growing up, I have become extremely adventurous in my eating and am eager to try any and all types of foods, especially local cuisines, which is how the name of my blog came to be.  A work colleague of mine took me to a township café and I bravely ordered tripe because I had never tried it before.  My friend dug in, slurping up the smelly, squidgy, multicolored grey, towel-material casings swimming in pale soup, and then, with a huge smile on his face, scooped up a spoonful for me to try.  I took a deep breath and as that spoonful fell into my mouth, I immediately had to pray to the food gods and center my chi in order to swallow.  And ever since, I vow to eat all things except for tripe.

Tripe