I love Tasha Tudor’s illustrations. They are so evocative of another place and time and stir up feelings of family gathered around the kitchen and gardens overflowing with foxgloves and larkspur. Tasha introduced me, via her cookbook, to one of the best macaroni and cheese recipes I have had. It has become a mainstay on our July 4th table.
Once you cook something, accompany it with a tale or legend, embellish it with your own rendition, and serve it up the following year for a second helping, you have established a tradition.
We love the 4th.
We love to eat.
Every year, along with the chicken, hamburgers, bratwurst, hot dogs, ham, sloppy joes, or whatever the main dish is that year, a big pan of macaroni and cheese sits alongside.
July 4th, folks. It is always hot here on the 4th. There is usually rain the night before or early in the morning and it is generally hot and muggy – and I make macaroni and cheese.
Tasha relates in her cookbook that Thomas Jefferson enjoyed macaroni and cheese. Whether he invented it is questionable, but, it makes a hearty tale for a hearty dish, and he did, it seems, draw plans for a pasta making machine.
We like Tasha Tudor’s recipe and I like to weave a good tale. I did, one steamy Fourth as I employed some of Katy’s friends to help in the first making of Tasha Tudor’s mac ‘n cheese. As the kids were growing up, there were more often than not friends that joined in the celebration. I miss them. They went and grew up on us and are off starting families and careers of their own. At any rate, they grated the cheese and they crushed the crackers and, at least for that first serving, they bought into the tale that Thomas Jefferson loved macaroni and cheese. So, on the Fourth of July, our national holiday, I thought it fitting that we have a dish that the author of the Declaration of Independence seemingly enjoyed.
Do you think Jefferson used Velveeta™ along with the shredded cheddar cheese and crushed Ritz crackers on top? (me neither)
Do you have any traditions, foodwise or otherwise, for Independence Day?
Do you have a favorite summertime meal?
Stay tuned . . . if I have time between the cheese grating and the table setting, I’ll post a few pictures of our very own cutoff parade!