Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mama' Bates Macaroni and Cheese

Mama's Macaroni and Cheese was one of my favorite dishes that she made. It really was a comfort food. I remember when my mother left me with Mama and took my brother with her and my new stepfather and moved to Morocco for two years. I was inconsolable. 

My Daddy held me in his lap while I punctured my drum with the drum sticks and cried. I dozed off and he put me on Mama's bed. Later Mama woke me up and told me that she had something special for me. She took me in the kitchen and sat me down at the table. 

She had made a large dish of Macaroni and Cheese, but she had also baked me my own special little dish. I think they ate pork chops with a vegetable and the mac and cheese. All I ate was my dish of Macaroni and Cheese Mama made especially for me. Even before anyone ever thought of calling Macaroni and Cheese a Comfort Food, that was the most comforting food for me. I was four years old at the time.

Mama Bates 
Original Baked Macaroni and Cheese


2 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste (I use about a teaspoon)
4 tablespoons margarine
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk


Cook pasta until tender, drain. 
Mix all dry ingredients together, set aside. Coat pan or dish with butter or Crisco and then layer half of macaroni on the bottom.

Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over top and top with half of the margarine, sliced into small slices.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups cheese over.  Then add another layer of noodles, flower and butter. Add the rest of the cheese on the top. Pour milk over all.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for thirty-five minutes. Remove foil, bake an additional ten minutes. Serve hot.

I always liked this recipe because you actually can taste the noodles and the cheese separately. Try it this way at least once.

The recipes for this has changed over the years and mostly it is made with a Bechamel Sauce using three and four kinds of cheese.

I also used to use this recipe to make Tuna Casserole. I would layer the tuna under the cheese. Sometimes I would add a can of Campbells' Mushroom Soup to the milk and mix it up really good and pour half of it over the cheese. The kids really loved this. 

When we moved to Texas, my daughter's best friend made me write out the Tuna Casserole recipe for her. When we got to Texas, she called and she said she cooked it but the noodles were a little hard. I forgot to tell her to cook the noodles first! I guess they were hard.