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COMFORT FOOD : Forget frivolous fare. Ignore the exotic. In times of trouble we turn to the familar and seek the solace of home. : Foods that reassure: Big breakfasts. Warm doughnuts. A simple steak. Beef stew. And ambrosia. : A Few of Our Favorite Things : . . . Creamy Macaroni

January 24, 1991|DONNA DEANE

When I think of comfort, my mind wanders back to my childhood--to those cold wintery days in Wisconsin when, after the long walk home from school, we'd make angels in fresh-fallen snow and stock our snow forts with snowballs. Or we'd make snowmen and then sled until dusk, until we were chilled to the bone.

Coming in from the cold air into our nice warm home, we'd take off our wet, half-frozen mittens, our jackets and boots and huddle around the fire to warm ourselves. Then my Mom would bring us a cup of hot chocolate to sip while she prepared our favorite dinner of creamy macaroni and cheese.

Even today when I enjoy it accompanied by hot bread and a crisp green salad, it makes me feel all is well with the world.

MACARONI AND

CHEESE

1 (7-ounce) package elbow macaroni

1/2 cup minced onion

1/3 cup butter

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/3 cup flour

3 1/4 cups milk

12 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in mustard, salt, white pepper and flour. Cook 1 to 2 minutes.

Gradually stir in milk, blending well. Bring to boil and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Reserve 1/2 cup cheese. Stir remaining cheese into sauce until melted. Drain macaroni and stir into sauce. Pour mixture into 1 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle reserved cheese over top.

Bake at 400 degrees 30 to 40 minutes until heated through and browned on top. Makes 4 servings.

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