My grandparents always had a vegetable garden. Not just a backyard garden, I swear they had at least half of an acre. When I was a kid I thought they had a farm instead of a garden. Planting season was a family affair in the spring. My grandparents had 6 children and 14 grandchildren. I recall heated conversations about which tomato plants needed to go in the ground and how many. I don’t know how many ever got planted, I just know there was enough for the entire family to get their fill. No summer meal was complete at anyone’s house without juicy ripe red or yellow tomatoes and hot buttered corn on the cob.
Planting weekend usually ended with a crappie fish fry. Except I don’t recall fish being fried, I remember grills being covered in small fish and the rush to get the little ones to cram pieces of white bread down their throats when they swallowed a bone. That was supposed to make sure no bones poked through their throats. Bless their little hearts.
The best part of their garden was the strawberries they would grow. I could never eat the fresh ones since I would break out into hives whenever I tried to eat them, any strawberry really. But once they had been macerated or frozen I could eat them. Lucky for me, their freezer was always full of frozen strawberries.
Anyone who knows me, the real me, knows that I can’t just leave a recipe alone. It’s like an addiction. I add this, take away that, increase this and decrease that. Sometimes it’s successful, sometimes it is a complete disaster.
Yes, even food bloggers have bad hair days in the kitchen. Sometimes the bad hair day is literal when you create some great recipe only to find a hair taking a leisurely swim in your dish.
Once I even served general’s chicken and the DH was mortified, I had completely forgotten to put the sugar in. I even had the sugar canister near the stove. I carried it back to the pantry without another thought, until we ate it. Accidental kitchen disaster, but that was just nasty.
Who doesn’t love a big helping of homemade macaroni and cheese? My spouse, that’s who. He likes the stuff from the box; powdered cheese, foil packet of cheese, any kind of cheese besides good old fashioned American cheese slices. Now don’t misunderstand, there is something to be said about the convenience of those blue boxes and I have cooked my share of them. I have also served up the frozen and refrigerated prepackaged varieties. I feel no shame.
But I prefer my macaroni and cheese the way my mom used to make it when she was in the cooking spirit. It is swimming in cheese, enough cheese that it gets called “too cheesy” in this house and rarely gets made anymore. I was excited to write this post because it gave me the excuse to make it for photos.
(Side note: while writing the recipe, I realize that the DH might actually be right, this might be too cheesy……. But please do not tell him he was right, I will never hear the end of it.)
A boulevardier is now my all time favorite mixed drink. When I was in college, I foolishly believed that mixed drinks were for girls. Boy was I wrong. As I get older I could care less about what other people think about my drink of choice at the bar. I have zero problems or ordering a cosmo in a group of grown adults. Who doesn’t love cranberry juice?! Real men drink whatever they want without being bothered by what other men or women think of them.
Anyways, I’m a fan of bourbon and bourbon mixed drinks. An old fashion or a whiskey sour were my default go-to drinks until I discovered the Boulevardier. This drink is typically composed of bourbon, campari, and sweet vermouth. Most recipes call for an ounce of each. I have also seen a lot of recipes call for 1.5 oz of bourbon, 1 oz of compari, and 1 oz of sweet vermouth. Well, I really like bourbon, so I go with 2 oz bourbon, 1 oz compari, and 1 oz sweet vermouth.