Crying Over Spilled Milk: little unglamorous details of life

I am crying over a bowl mac and cheese right now. If it can even be called that.
A little over a week ago I tried making some mac and cheese out of a box. Tried is the key word. Foolishly I decided not to measure the milk because I had “made mac and cheese a hundred times” and I could do this, right? Well, I thought wrong. Instead of little shells in a creamy cheese sauce, I ended up with shells in cheese flavored milk.
You would think I would have learned a lesson or two after that.

Nope.

Having erased that awful episode from my mind, I took my mothers advice tonight to have mac and cheese for dinner. “Should be easy and quick” I thought. Sounded great in my mind until I couldn’t find any boxed mac and cheese. So I did what any over-achieving, creative-minded, kitchen-loving girl would do: I decided to make mac and cheese from scratch. Something I have done over a dozen times before. So I set off to make a yummy bowl of noodles and creamy cheese sauce. My hunger and my ego got ahead of me and based on previous success in life at making mac and cheese from scratch (and forgetting that last boxed attempt) I decided to not use a recipe or measure ingredients.

Big mistake.

All was going well until I forgot how long to cook a roux for. At this point I realized I hadn’t made a cheese sauce in at least a year. So I cooked it.
And cooked it some more.

“Does the flour taste cook away when there are little bubbles or when the sauce turns brown?” I asked myself.
I chose the latter.
I added a splash of milk and the roux turned into what looked like a pate choux. For those of you that don’t know what that consistency is like, imagine cookie dough. In a panic I added more milk.

And I spilled some more milk.

Of course the dough-y mixture and cold milk didn’t mix together. They never did. Not when I waited to cook it a little longer. Not when I added the cheese. Or more cheese. Or cooked it even some more.

Convinced this sauce was not going anywhere, I added in the noodles.

Image
^This picture isn’t pretty or glamorous. It has a dirty background and the lighting sucks. This is not what I had pictured for my first picture on my blog. This picture is honest. It’s realistic. I may have had big dreams for this blog, but I know if I am not being real, it will never be me.

My bowl of undercooked noodles in grainy cheese sauce that tastes more like burnt butter and flour than anything else, is almost completely eaten.

The tears that were coming down as I mixed my gloppy, grainy sauce until my arm ached and continued to flow when I took my first few bites have dried up. Sometimes when you are hungry, you are willing to eat pretty much anything.

Is the point that I am weak enough to cry over failing to make mac and cheese?
No.
Does it matter that there is still a big pot of nasty mac and mystery white glop?
No.

What I did learn is that there is no use in crying over a ruined dish.
Somedays a stroke of genius isn’t realized.
Somedays you just need to remember why recipes were created.
Someday my want for perfection and want to master things will go away and I finally will stop crying over spilled milk.

I didn’t fail at making mac and cheese today, I just found another way not to make it.

-Cynthia

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