Last night I fell asleep to a South Park involving baiting a giant Canadian with a bowl of Kraft dinner, their affectionate term for that wonderful blue box of assorted stuff. Spongebobs, milk protein concentrate, salt. All kinds of stuff. Cheese.
Anyway, Kraft macaroni and cheese is somewhat of a Canadian national dish, definitely more iconic childhood to young adulthood sustenance than here. It just is. We just make the stuff into Spongebobs. They eat it by the boatload. Seriously, according to Wikipedia, they eat over 50% more of it than Americans, and while we’re on the fact-spouting train, of the 7 million boxes sold all over the world each week, Canadians consume 1.7 million of them. A former prime minister also named it as his favorite food, so move over Nixon with your cottage cheese and ketchup.
I once worked a 15-hour day in a food truck in a driveway in suburban New Jersey for a …yikes, I’m admitting this, Kraft video shoot. While a lot of other food preparation and styling was involved, as the assistant I was called upon to make literally a dozen boxes of this stuff and style each dish over and over and over again until it looked palatable. Of the five dishes photographed, only one was really edible, the timbale. I still make it, but with, you know, real macaroni and cheese. In a pinch, it’s one way to supplement the citric acid and cheese culture with a little plant life.
Make a box of Kraft mac and cheese. Slice zucchini lengthwise on a V-slicer or very thinly using a sharp knife, roast with a little olive oil, salt and pepper at 375F for 15 minutes, then layer them in an asterisk shape inside a small ramekin to make a lining, with the edges hanging over the side. Fill the ramekin with the mac and cheese, then fold in the overhanging zucchini on top of the ramekin to seal. Bake for 15 minutes, then let cool slightly and turn the timbale out onto a plate. When you cut in, surprise! Kraft mac and cheese! Apparently kids love it. The kids on set didn’t love it though, they just picked out the mac and cheese and predictably left the zucchini behind once photo-time was over.
But back to Canada. When I discovered the volume of Kraft mac and cheese being consumed by our neighbors to the north, I thought to myself, why was this never mentioned on Trailer Park Boys? Well, cause you can make chicken fingers in a toaster oven plugged into a car’s cigarette lighter…or you can do the whole putting a pot on to boil and not shooting at stuff while you wait for it to cook thing. Which one sounds more fun?
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