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Dear Jon's Famous Recipe for Macaroni and Cheese

by Dear Jon
January 25, 2001

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Sort XIX_Dear Jon-Dear Jon's Famous Recipe for Macaroni and Cheese ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON

Dear Jon,
There are subjects which women like to receive advice about; note how many "women's magazines" show up every month, full of advice on cooking, keeping healthy, looking beautiful, bringing up children (and men) etc, etc.

Since you are an unidentifiable columnist, with a pen name, no doubt, I will just toss out some random topics for an advice-giver, not knowing whether they reflect your expertise or not.

A career woman pondering a winter vacation in Phoenix might ask for advice on how to pack, where to find the good night spots, how the air will affect her skin, how the atmosphere will affect her hormone balance--you get the idea. A young mother might ask how to get a precocious little boy to treat his older sisters with respect and gentleness.A housewife might write and ask you for a good recipe for Macaroni and Cheese. (Ann Landers meatloaf recipe was a classic.)

I won't tell you my name, but I am a woman, I read your column, and where am I from? I have been living near Brighton for a loooong time.


Dear Loooong,

Thank you for your honest assessment of women's issues. You seem articulate and well-written. Perhaps you should consider writing a regular column for "The Partial Observer." I know that the "Web Master" is looking for columnists on all subjects, including travel, child-rearing, and cooking. And he is looking for female contributors. Perhaps you could become the next Martha Stewart, or better yet, the next Erma Bombeck.

By the way, I have no idea who you are, because I have no idea where Brighton is, but by extraordinary feminine powers of intuition, you have sought advice
in some areas of personal expertise.

"Dear Jon's Famous Recipe for Macaroni and Cheese."

1. Buy the small box of KRAFT Original Macaroni and Cheese (registered trademark.) Do NOT get the "Family Size."

2. Follow instructions on box, for STOVE TOP COOKING only.

3. The boiling time for the noodles is given as 7-10 minutes. Ignore this instruction. Do NOT wait for a "vigorous" boil. When the water begins to boil is soon enough. You MUST time your noodles CLOSELY, and you MUST remove the noodles NO LATER THAN after 7 minutes and 10 seconds of boiling.

4. Do NOT leave the strained noodles sitting while you open the margarine, etc. Those ingredients MUST be prepared IN ADVANCE and stirred into the noodles IMMEDIATELY upon draining.

5. I have found that Skim milk works the best.

But why, Jon? I do not know all the technical terms, and I do not have time to look them up. But it has to do with the starch in the pasta. Taste the difference for yourself. If you boil the noodles (vigorously) for ten minutes, they will literally soak up all the cheesy flavor and you will have el blando Macaroni and Cheese with pale, mushy noodles. The shorter cooking time will give you a firmer texture to the noodles, and more importantly, your Macaroni and Cheese will have a pleasing orange-golden color and a strong cheese flavor. As proof, and I'm serious about this, my wife agrees with me. So there you have it.

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