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April 06, 2009

Overnight Open Thread: Economy Crashes, Macaroni and Cheese Hardest Hit. (genghis)

Without a hint of self-irony, a Seattle Times food critic tries to help out the sweaty masses as we grunt and knuckle-drag our way through our dreary and meaningless days. Here’s the actual headline of the article: ”Mac 'n' cheese is the Yes We Can food for our times.” And we get a running political commentary! Snack on this cheesy delight if you will (various emphases mine):

”If you believe the wonks on Wall Street, it seems like our collective winter of financial discontent is far from over. And given it's only April in the Northwest, we still have a few more gloomy, damp months ahead to add to our general sense of malaise. (It’s been sunny and near 70 here the past few days - ed) Admittedly, it's an unhappy forecast on both fronts.”

“So while the politicians wring their hands and search for solutions, maybe we mortals should just get busy in the kitchen cooking up some "Yes We Can" to see us through. Something to warm our hearts and fill our bellies without emptying our wallets.”


But she feels our pain and is willing to make some sacrifices in order to reach us on our level:
”I'll be the first to admit it: I can't afford to be a food snob anymore. Even the most optimistic of financial planners would advise the same: Leave the micro-greens behind, along with the lovely truffle-infused oils. Kiss the bûche de chèvre off your cheese plate and say "ciao" for now to the quattro formaggi agnolotti.”

What a trooper. Does this latter-day Mark Twain/Will Rogers have any additional folksy pearls of social and political wisdom to share with us? Glad you asked. Some assorted nuggets of such if you’ll read on below the fold…


”A few bites of your own mac-'n'-cheese casserole and you'll be feeling better faster than you can say "shovel ready."

“And as we try to reclaim our great nation — along with our pensions — perhaps we're even ready to take the next step and push those little elbows of pasta beyond the realm of the ordinary. Just as BLTs can blossom into panini with Niman Ranch nitrate-free bacon, organic arugula and heirloom tomatoes, a little homespun flair can elevate a pot of mac 'n' cheese into the ranks of the truly sophisticated entree.”

“Feeling guilty for the lack of vegetables? Cauliflower is an easy and elegant complement. And you can get swanky with mac 'n' cheese if you choose, as I discovered at Veil awhile back. It was a lobster mac 'n' cheese, gently flavored with tarragon and crème fraîche. I give it two thumbs up for using such a divine herb so artfully. But at $17 a pop, we're starting to lose track of the financial squeeze we're in.”


Good to see she caught herself and dialed it down on the “swankiness.” I was worried she might suggest adding some sliced-up frankfurters or sausage to the mac & cheese. That’s simply out of reach for most people. What say we wrap it up with an inspiring conclusion:
”Funny. It's a time when we are all tightening the belt, figuratively. But knowing my enthusiasm for an inspired mac 'n' cheese, I'll likely end up needing to loosen the belt a couple notches, literally.”

“But with any luck, the crisis will prompt us to embrace the aesthetic of previous eras, when an extra layer of chubb was considered a sign of wealth. Because these days, we don't have much else to bank on.”


That’s sound advice. If we all get fat we’ll, uh…look prosperous or something? Minor quibble though. I’m looking forward to her next article, tentatively titled: ”The Audacity of Pork Snacks: How to Dress up Pork Rinds for Your Next Dinner Party with a Rich Demi-Glace Reduction of “L’il Smokies” Infused with Just a Hint of Shallots and Marsala Wine.” (I’m told she may also include a recipe for an excellent crème brulee dessert involving Skittles)

Yes! We! Can! Prepare this according to directions on the box.

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to xgenghisx@gmail.com. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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posted by xgenghisx at 10:01 PM

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