One weekend when I had my granddaughters, ages 3, 5, and 7 at the farm, I decided to fix them an early dinner before we started home. Something quick and easy. “Hmm… what about Mac & Cheese?” I said, knowing what the response would be. They roared their approval. But when I looked in the cabinet, there was no Mac & Cheese.
Drats! I hated to disappoint them. What to do. . . . In an attempt to be resourceful, I decided to make macaroni and cheese from scratch, the way I used to do. I had the ingredients: noodles, milk, and a nice chunk of cheddar that was surely better than the powdered stuff that Kraft uses. In no time, I had concocted the old stand-by and was dishing it onto their plates.
Now those of you who have kids are way ahead of me on this story. You know the ending. I should have known the ending before I started. In a sequence not too unlike the Three Bears story, the first one said, “This isn’t Mac & Cheese.” Before I could saw, “Yes, it is. I made it myself,” the second one declared, “This isn’t Mac & Cheese” and refused to eat it. The third one made the same observation, but being the food hound in the family she ate her helping of the non-Mac & Cheese and that of her sisters.
Where did I go wrong? The next time I was at the grocery store, I looked on the back of a Kraft Mac & Cheese box. They had far more ingredients than I had used. Perhaps it was the missing Food dye #5 or was it #6 that altered the taste. To Kraft’s credit, when they were pushed they removed the chemical additives from their newer varieties, though they kept them in their original version for those who had grown accustomed to the taste.
The incident reminded me of the time I tried to get our Newfoundland to take a pill prescribed by the vet. I put it in his food bowl, thinking I could disguise it. Unlike my granddaughters, he didn’t complain at all. He carefully ate his meal and left the pill at the bottom of the dish. They say you can’t fool dogs and small children. But sometime you fool yourself into thinking you can.