More Post-Op How-To: Makin’ Mac-N-Cheeze

Yesterday was the first day I was on my own for my survival (regrettably K had to go back to work).  The day before we went and picked up some groceries (and by “we” I mean K carried two full bags of groceries all the way home while everyone we passed on the street decided I was a right fucking asshole who couldn’t be bothered to help his girlfriend carry their joint groceries) so she could make dinner that night (delicious peanut noodle salad), we could have leftovers for dinner tomorrow, and I would have a quick vegan mac-n-cheeze we found in the frozen section I could make myself for lunch. K left for work, and about 20 minutes later that mac-n-cheeze was callin’ for me.  And so here, for your education and entertainment, is the tutorial for making frozen “convenient” mac-n-cheeze when you are alone and your arms are mostly for aesthetic, not functional purposes. Step One: Find a bowl that fits the goddamn block of frozen Mac N Cheeze. This particular single serving of mac-n-cheeze came in frozen form, in a container only fit for the microwave.  K and I don’t like radiating our food, don’t feel the food has done anything to us in particular to deserve that kind of treatment, so we don’t own a microwave.  So I had to remove the M-N-C from its original little cardboard home and relocate it into something that wasn’t going to burn my house to the ground if I heated my meal in it.  If this was a game of Clue, I was going to do it in Pyrex with a toaster oven.  Problem is, none of our Pyrex (the only suitable containers we have for cooking frozen, semi-liquid dishes) will fit in our toaster oven with the frozen block of MNC jutting out of the top of the bowl.  So obviously I had to cut the MNC block in half. Step Two: Find a knife big enough to cut through frozen MNC that is also sharp enough to get through frozen MNC without having to exert more than minimal strength, because remember, your arms are more decorative than functional. This is what I came up with:

Don’t do this if your girlfriend is at home.

But the thing is, even that knife needed some pretty serious pressure to cut through frozen MNC.  Pressure I couldn’t apply.  I needed a blunt object to wield, and via centrifugal force, apply enough pressure to push the knife into the frozen block of lunch.  Enter my hammer. Step Three: Get your toolbox out.

Don’t worry, I’m not stupid! I used the flat side of the hammer as not to destroy the knife.

Success!

Looks delicious, doesn’t it? Just like mom used to make.

Step Four: Get that baby into the toaster oven!

THE SON OF A BITCH STILL DOESN’T FIT!

Ok, I’ll just cook one half for a little while, then, when it gets melty enough, I’ll put the other frozen half on top and ta-daa!  Lunch is served!

You wait here. I’ll come back for you.

Part one in the oven! All systems go!

I went to get my phone while part one MNC was cookin’ and noticed I had missed a few calls from K.  I called her back and it turns out she was having a terrible run of luck on the way to work: it’s raining, she grabbed the broken umbrella I seem to refuse to throw away only for insanity’s sake, the bus was late, etc. Step Five: Talk to your girlfriend on the phone without letting on steps 1-4. But, I decided to tell her the whole crazy MNC story in hopes of raising her spirits.  And I think the story did something to her mood, in that it at least took her mind momentarily off her own woes.  Especially when I got to the transferring of the MNC from cardboard to Pyrex and she said, “You can’t use Pyrex in the toaster oven.”  Who knew? Step Six: Put the whole crazy contraption in the conventional oven, and throw in some tater tots on the side because at this point, you deserve them. The end result? I win.

(Hot sauce and tater tots not pictured.)

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

12 thoughts on “More Post-Op How-To: Makin’ Mac-N-Cheeze

  1. Also, I just remembered a time when you opened a bottle of wine for me with a cocktail stirrer and a hammer. You should just start wearing a tool belt so you can have a hammer handy at all times – you seem to get good use out of them.

    • I do enjoy nailing. Ahem.

      PS: I remember that night clearly, and have a picture of me holding up the open bottle in one hand, and a hammer in the other.

  2. Is that an Amy’s MNC? I love them! But I’ve always put them in the oven in the cardboard tray and have never burned my house down. Though all the steps you went through did make for a nice adventure!

  3. Okay…as a professional Chef for 13 years and then a career change to construction management… I’m going to give you an ata boy for ingenuity…and not burning the house down, however, you need new tools if you’re going to bachelor your food much further. You are totally getting a mallet and a cleaver for christmas…and probably some new toaster oven friendly cookware and a small torch for back up.

    • Sweet!

      A chef for thirteen years, eh? Color me impressed: that is a hot hard job. Ahem, please, make all the “hot and hard” jokes you want: I lobbed that one at you underhand.

      -E

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