Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Random Rambling: Macaroni and cheese and latkes.

The kids are out of school, so we've been just hanging out over here. Nothing too fancy. Christmas was awesome. It involved Legos and light sabers and little kids who absolutely, positively still believe.

Giving my full attention to the kids has not given me much time to write. They are up later so they've encroached upon my writing time. No worries, though. It's been a lovely thing.

We didn't go crazy with gifts this Christmas. The kids made simple lists and had everything opened in less than twenty minutes. I also didn't feel that sick feeling like I'd completely overindulged them. They were happy and content. So was I.

I stepped on the scale two days ago. Bad mistake. I saw something I didn't like. I also stopped coloring my gray hair. We'll see how long I last with that.  The combination of a bigger derriere and gray hair is not the best from a timing perspective. Harry says he thinks the salt and pepper I have coming in "looks hot."  He also saw me put on my rugged Frye boots, jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt yesterday and thought that "looked hot", too.  Hallelujah for a man that doesn't take much to heat up.

My kids are getting older. Two days ago I was dancing in front of Isaiah and he looked at me kind of embarrassed. Then he said, "Really, Mom? Are you serious?" Ha.

I think I saw the crazy-gym-lady aka "Miss Daisy" walking down the street in my neighborhood the other day. I was very close to jumping out of the car and tripping her. That or shooting her with a paintball. Okay, not really. But I was thinking about it and got a chuckle imagining that whole paintball thing. That's bad, huh?

It's been raining a lot here. Very annoying. It cleared up finally so we immediately went outside to play. I was glad we did because I was getting very tired of seeing my kids looking at Nintendo DS games and iPad applications. And. I was super glad that they actually WANTED to go outside. Did you know? A lot of kids aren't interested in going outside anymore.

Remember playing kickball and double dutch? We even created our own track meets and roller derbies. Sure did. You can do a hell of a lot before the street lights come on. Just sayin'.

Hey here's something funny:  This dude at work kept wishing me a "Happy Kwanzaa." *snicker*  Can I tell you a secret? I don't think I know any black people who do the full on Kwanzaa celebration. Matter of fact, if you are black and reading this--fast! without Wikipedia!--tell me the principles of Kwanzaa! Go! Go!


Mmm hmmm. I've wanted to do the whole Kwanzaa thing before, too. Had plans one year and everything but it just didn't happen. I was too tired after Christmas, man. Plus it felt like I was trying to hard so that fleeting thought in 2007 was about as far as I got with it. Yep. Hey brothas and sistas! If you do happen to be one of the few that actually does get your Kwanzaa on, let me know how it works for you, okay?  I'm real curious.

Yeah. The point of this is just letting people know that it isn't really necessary to wish all black folks a Happy Kwanzaa. At least, not me.

Isn't it the last night of Hanukkah? I think so. Hey--shout out to my friends celebrating Hanukkah and to my friends who do the Chrismakkah or Hanu-mas thing. Sounds gnarly to me. Oh, have I told y'all? I make a mean latke. Mean, I tell you. Sour cream, apple sauce on top, all that. No, and not from the mix, either so don't even try to play me like it is. I'm nice with my latkes. Mmm hmmm. Just sayin'.

Which reminds me-- 

Have I ever told y'all about my mac and cheese? I call it "Who's the mac?" Mac and Cheese. Why? Because word on the street is that it will make you slap your mama. And when everybody runs up to me foaming at the mouth saying how good it is, I walk into the kitchen, peep my reflection in the microwave and ask myself, "Who's the mac?" Yep, sure do. I don't profess to be super awesome in the kitchen. But I do stand behind my mac and cheese.

Now. What makes this most interesting is that I absolutely DETEST cheese. DE-TEST it. For as long as I can remember, too.

I have never had a cheeseburger.
I have never had a grilled cheese sammich.
I have never eaten nachos.
And no, sirree. I have not ever let macaroni and cheese touch my lips. Not even my "Who's the Mac?" version. Nope.

The one caveat is pizza. And cream cheese. Okay, I will eat very mild and nonstinky cheeses. Mozarella. Provolone. Beyond that, I'm dunzo.

*sorry, just threw up in my mouth a little bit*

So how do I make mac and cheese, you ask? It came from being in love with the BHE who happens to love mac and cheese. I started with one friend's recipe and built upon it to make it my own. And while I do give my friend Stacy B. mad props for the base recipe, it wasn't until I stuck my foot in it that it became the "Who's the Mac?" version, which YES is reproducible and has been reproduced by friends with fool proof results. Mmmm hmmm.

That said, if you have stepped on a scale this week and not liked the number you saw, I would not recommend my mac and cheese as it has a ridiculous amount of butter and cheese in it. Ridiculous. Ha!

Alright. That's all I have.

Happy Everything. 


  1. You don't like CHEESE???? **walking to the corner to gather my wits** I just don't know what to say to that. *lol* Grilled cheese is the sandwich king of kings!

    My son is almost 3 and I love that he always wants to be outside. He likes my iPad 2, but I make sure to balance his usage. I still crave the days when we used to jump double dutch for HOURS.

    Um, yeah, I'd be curious to hear from folks that actually celebrate Kwanzaa too.

    Ok, Mac. Are you sharing your recipe via email? =)

  2. yeah, no kwanzaa celebrations over here, either, though I do know the principles as they celebrated it every year at my daughter's politically correct celebrate everything school. i did appreciate the idea of it all, but no it never stuck in our house.

    and oh my, your beautiful family. i made the pics big so i could see them in all their glory, your handsome boys with their big soulful eyes and that pic of them, heads together on the couch, and the one with your dad, well, that's everything right there.

    that and a man who heats up easy, i mean.

    merry christmas, grady doc! i am so happy to have met you this year!


  3. I hear ya on all of it. Even though it hasn't rained here in weeks, my boys have been glued to video games and such, and it's weird how I'll walk by them and it JUST MAKES THE HAIR ON THE BACK OF MY NECK STAND UP IN NEAR REVULSION.

    That said, I do enjoy hanging out with them in my pjs all day.

    Love to you and wishing for some LA sunshine in Atlanta!

  4. I'm w/mrs. tdj VERKLEMPT over you not liking cheese. Also, did you call your mac & cheese reproduce-able and not share the recipe??? Why do you hate us? We did Kwanzaa for a couple of days a few times as a kid. I used to be able to name all of the principles. Now I can do most.

  5. CHEESE - The older and stinkier... the better. LOL! No to Kwanzaa. Yes to short Christmas lists. Paintball bullets on the super FIT lady?!?! What?! Say it ain't so. LMAO!

  6. I think you are the only other person I have ever known who has at some point in their lives (or always, as is the case with you) hated cheese.

    Until the age of 10 I refused to sit at a table on which there was any platter with any type of cheese. Until the age of 16 I refused to put any cheese in my mouth. No way, no how!

    Then I discovered cream cheese and things changed from there. I still can't stand any smelly cheeses (I won't go near them and I definitely won't taste them), but I do eat the more benign varieties (the dill Havarti, hot pepper cheese, smoked Gouda, plain American, and very mild non-stinky feta (baked in something), oh... and mac and cheese!!! yes, definitely mac and cheese!). Some day, when the scale gives me a little more wiggle room, I will have to get your recipe for mac and cheese, and I promise, when my reflection asks "Who's the mac?", I'll respond "Dr. Manning!". :)

    I'm happy to read of your lovely Christmastime and glad that you still have two believers (we are down to one, but the older one still plays along and helps the younger one track with NORAD, and do all the other fun stuff). Each of our kids asked for only 2 things this year (without us putting any limits) - like you, I felt good about their relationship with "stuff" (not too strong!).

  7. My kids hate anything with cheese, especially Mac-n-cheese, but they love pizza...I thought they were the only folx' in the world who did that :-)
    Definitely enjoying the school and work break..and most of all my "flannel PJ" look..it's so becoming and comfy...LOL
    I'm catching up on your blogs (which I sooo love) and waswondering when the next one was coming...thanx again for a relaxing smile..
    Looks like the Draper klan (Manning) had another wonderful holiday.....

  8. First and foremost: Yes. I will sho' nuff share the WHO'S THE MAC? mac and cheese recipe for any who do not mind having 75 grams of fat in a single serving of food. Ha. Email me on gradydoctor@gmail.com and I got you.

    TDJ -- Aaaah, sis! No cheese, please. It smells like toe jam. For reals. Can't do it. And yes. The double dutch bus came down my street EVERY day.

    Angella L. -- My dear mama-mentor! Why does everything you write sound so wise? It's like being down with Maya Angelou, I tell you. I am so very glad to be down with you.

    Elizabeth -- I would definitely like some of that LA sunshine! And yay to PJs all day for real! We wore pajamas until 5PM on Christmas day. It was TOTALLY AWESOME.

    Jameil -- Yes, I will sho' nuff share my recipe. You, too, can be the MAC. I am not stingy with being the Mac. And once you serve it on your table, it's all you. You become the MAC. But me? I'm still not eating it. EE-EEW. Cheese = Toe Jam.

    WCD -- I wish I could say that my kids don't like stuff. I told them that Santa doesn't like kids being greedy so choose accordingly. Ha. It was SO not on their own. They would've put the whole TARGET TOY WISHBOOK on that list if I had provided enough paper. And like I said--if you make the Mac and Cheese at your house, YOU become the MAC so no credit needed here. Just come back and let me know how it went. :)

  9. I wish I didn't like cheese. It's way too good! I'd also like the recipe- sounds dee-lish! My granny broke her hip about a week ago, and I found myself wishing she had you for her doctor. You are real, kind, knowledgeable and compassionate- wonderful qualities! Enjoy your beautiful family :o)

  10. Don't especially like cheese. Have celebrated Kwanzaa since about 1970, through the 1990s, through my children's growing up years. Always co-sponsored a community Kwanzaa celebration when we lived in Idlewild, MI. My husband always answers the phone "Habari Gani?" during Kwanzaa. The correct answer being the principal of the day. I think that Kwanzaa is more meaningful when you celebrate with people that you work with to build a better community all year long. We were doing it before it became commercial. Now, don't do it so much. Sometimes the kids or husband will go to a community celebration. Sometimes we set up the table but my heart isn't in it and so, it seems it just fades away.
    Our Christmas was Amazing! Never had one like it and probably never will again. 20 people in a room exchanging gifts for and from each other, from age 8 to 67. It was great. Wasn't that there were expensive gifts, there really weren't, just that everyone cared enough to do it. Family members and relations that hadn't bothered before were included and did.

  11. emailing now. Cuz as great of a writer as you are, I will have no problem pulling every grey hair from your head and tying you upside down until I get this recipe.


  12. Dear Dr. M, don't worry about the boys' love of all things TOYS!!! at Target (we were there once too). Keep doing what you are doing and in a few years you will notice a difference.

    I don't know whether to email you for the recipe or wait for you to post it here for all of us hungry masses. :)


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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