There are so many ways to accomplish the same goal.
When I finally learned to make macaroni and cheese from scratch, I found a recipe with a four cheese blend. So I bought a block of cheddar, a wedge of gouda, a sliver of good parmesan, and a tub of marscapone.
And I pulled out my grater.
I spent more time grating the cheese than actually making the recipe. It took nearly an hour to grate all that cheese. By the time I was done, we were both hungry and I was exhausted.
But that macaroni and cheese was amazing. Really amazing.
However, I didn’t want to spend hours grating cheese– I knew my knuckles couldn’t take it. So the next time I switched to the shredded cheese in the plastic bags.
And it was faster, but not as amazing. And if I’m going to go to the trouble of making macaroni and cheese from scratch, it must be amazing.
So as I’ve tweaked the recipe, I’ve adapted. I buy shredded cheddar, but still hand grate the other cheeses, because they’re faster. I also retired the old dented box grater and got one with a knuckle guard.
The process of making mac and cheese is a lot like painting for me. I know how to grind my own paint, and I can spend 60 hours on a single painting. It leaves me exhausted, but the results are usually spectacular.
I’m also okay with throwing paint on paper with a few stamps or a bit of glitter. It’s fun and a good way to remind myself how to play.
The work I’m happiest with is the work that comes together without the agonizing struggle, without scraped knuckles. It’s the work that appears when I still have energy to enjoy it. But it’s still work.
Like macaroni and cheese from scratch.
“Work.” 6×8 Oil on Panel. $140