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The Mac & Cheese my mom made.

This is my favourite recipe for Macaroni and Cheese, it’s from a 1958 Good Housekeeping pamphlet and the one my mom always made.

Susan’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1 TBSP of salt

½ lb of macaroni in 2 ½ inch pieces or elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)

(Mom used the big elbow macaroni not the tiny ones like ones in Kraft mac & cheese

1 small onion

2 TBSP of butter or margarine

1 TBSP of flour

¼ tsp of dry mustard

¾ tsp salt

Speck of pepper

2 cups of milk

½ l of Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)

Topping:

¾ cup fresh bread crumbs (I leave these out because I don’t like them)

4 tsp of butter or margarine

  1. In a large kettle bring to boil 3 qts of water with 1TBSP of salt.

Start heating oven to 400 degrees. Grease 1 ½ qt casserole

  1. Drop macaroni into boiling water; boil, uncovered, stirring often with fork, about 9 minutes

Or until piece rubbed between fingers parts fairly easily.

  1. Meanwhile, mince onion, (about 4 tsps) put in double boiler with 2 TBSP of butter. When butter is melting, stir in flour, mustard, salt and pepper; cook until smooth and hot, stirring often.
  2. Slice about 3/4 s of the cheese right into the sauce; stir until the cheese is melted. ( if preferred, slice or grate cheese ahead, using medium grater)
  3. When the macaroni is tender, drain into colander; turn into casserole. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni, tossing lightly with fork so that all the macaroni gets nicely coated. Top with rest of cheese.
  4. Toss bread crumbs with 4 tsp of melted butter. Sprinkle over the cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered; 20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings as a main dish and 6 when served instead of potatoes.

For 2 servings:

Use the following ingredients: 1/3 lb of cheese, 1 1/3 cups raw macaroni, 1 TBSP of minced onion, 4 tsps of butter, 2 tsps of flour, ¼ tsp of dry mustard, ½ tsp of salt, speck pepper, 1 1/3 cups of milk. ½ cup fresh bread crumbs, and 1 TBSP butter. Bake in 1 qt casserole at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Dree yer ain Weird – a thought for a January morning of beginnings

Something most Scots have heard if their family still keeps its culture. To “Dree yer ain weird is to follow, practice, suffer your own destiny.

The underlying theme of growing up is to find out what you are meant to do and do it. But how many of us actually do, do it? Sometimes it’s easier to go with the flow or what our parent’s ideas of what we should grow up to be.

Oddly enough it goes handily with the Church of Scotland/Presbyterian view of predestination and the belief in free will that I was raised with at church and that doesn’t change with my paganism. I do think we choose our own individual destiny even if it’s in not choosing and going with the flow. It’s still a choice and you still exercised free will to not make a choice.

And in a weird way, coming out as a lesbian helped me make choices other than what my parents had in mind because once I had decided to throw out the conditioning to be straight and settle down and provide grandchildren, I was free to decide what I did want to do. I could decide who I lived with or if I lived with any one at all. I was free to choose my dreams. I’m free to write anything I get an idea to write about and thanks to technology be a published author.

It freed me to take the next step and follow what my grandmother had been teaching me and expand into a pagan life. It freed me to determine my own spiritual beliefs and ethics and not to blindly do what I was told without thinking about it. From what I read on Facebook, a lot of my high school contemporaries are still living their lives the way their parents did. The ones I find interesting are the ones who by some circumstance have made their own choices and are not the people they were in high school. Sometimes, not always the best choices but they made choices outside of what would have been pre-determined by their parents. I just found out a friend in high school who I really liked a lot and admired his creativity died of AIDS 10 years ago. He made his own choices to not grow up in Glendale and get married to a nice girl but to be a creative human being and from what I know of him in high school, come out, and I wonder if he regrets those choices or loved the time he had after making those choices.

I think we choose lessons to learn before we return to earth. Each time we return we choose new lessons. We choose the people we have those lessons with. Sometimes it’s learning that certain people are toxic and are working their own set of lessons.

The choices we make after we are born put us in circumstances to learn those lessons. And if we don’t complete the lesson then we get another chance if we would like in the next life. I hope I always choose lessons of love and creativity.

So do ye choose ta dree yer ain weird or are ye dreeing someone else’s?

New Year’s sillies – Are you a true Scottish American?

Are You a True Scottish American; Celt or Gael?

Any of the first statements are automatic qualifiers.

You must:

  1. Like the taste of haggis and eat it willingly.
  1. Have red hair. This includes eyebrows, eyelashes, pubic hair and mustache. (ladies too.)
  1. Like and collect bagpipe music. Will willingly endure an indoor bagpipe concert. The sound of massed pipe bands make you cry and not from pain.
  1. Wear a kilt in public, no matter what your knees look like or whether the wind is blowing. (fishing weights can be wonderful things as well as bike shorts. Regimental can be chilly.

You should:

1.     Accept that your ancestors as well as being royalty were also horse thieves, cattle rustlers, sheep thieves and murderers.. Be especially proud of the latter.

2.     Realize that dessert will be shortbread, trifle, or have oats in it and be excessively sweet. Do Not Expect Chocolate. Unless it is that curious thing called a deep fried Mars bar.

3.     Occasionally contemplate how well your enemies heads would look in wall niches.

4.     Know the Gaelic word for Englishman. Use it as a cuss word frequently

5.     Keep your sporran at the correct height, men, It was originally to protect your private parts. Although how much protection a bag of oats is a subject for discussion.

6.     Realize that you are usually on the losing side of a war. That’s how your ancestors got to this country isn’t it? But you’ll fight anyway, it’s the fight that counts, right?

7.     Realize the dour expression on the face of most Scots comes from wearing woolen underwear. It’s not polite to scratch.

8.     Bathe regularly, remember the English hated us because we did. They couldn’t smell us coming but we could sure smell them.

9.     Always play with your target before going in for the kill. There is a reason so many Scottish clans have cats on their clan badges.

10. Remember the old saying: The Irish drink as an avocation, the Scots do it as a profession. That’s why whisky has no “e” in it, so you can ask for it quicker.

11.  Be able to identify your clan badge or tartan at 50 yards. Be able to identify your enemies at a 100 yards, especially Campbells.

12.  Pick your most obvious and least favourite physical characteristic. You will spend the rest of your life named for it; i.e. Cross-eyed Mairi, Big Nose John, Cameron means crooked or broken nose and Campbell means crooked mouth in Gaelic.

13.  Remember that this is also the country that invented Covenanters and Presbyterianism, Some of us are rabid teetotalers and no fun is allowed! (except for making sure no one else is having any either.)

14. Remember that the Scots take the saying: Never suffer a fool gladly, literally. Don’t be an idiot more than you need to be.

15. Remember, it is your nature to sulk, bear a grudge, take vengeance and switch sides. After all, the Highlanders are still mad at the Campbells after 300 years. The Scots have hated the English since at least 1200 A.D. Why should you be any different?

16. Remember that your little Scottish granny can still beat the crrrapp out  of you. No matter how tall or old you are or how tall or old she is.

17. Believe in faeries and second sight if just to have an excuse for the results of a whole night spent a drink that started with Glen…. If you do have second sight be as vague as possible. The more vague the more famous you will be.

18. And last but not least, the Scots have no internal emotions. All emotions are external, at least in Gaelic. I love you; Tha gaol agam ort, translates I have love for me on you. Romantic, huh?

Do you still want to be a Celt/Gael?

Suas Alba!

Slainte’ mhath, slainte’ mhor

A h-uile latha

Chi’s naic fhaic.