The other day, I was feeling particularly peppy … err, I mean preppy.  So I gathered all the ingredients for dinner together and actually did a proper mis en place:

I wouldn’t call myself very good about doing this.  I will do the usual chop / dice sort of prep, but that’s it, so usually it’s a mad dash for spices and other such little things when I cook.  But this time I laid it all out.  Yes, I was feeling very picky that day.

And hey!  In the picture, check out the cool McDonalds mug.  Amy gave me that for Christmas one year, after I told her this story on how I have so many memories of my dad drinking out of the same kind of mug.  I don’t drink out of it but I like to keep it out and just look at it.  I’m sentimental like that.

Another thing I really like about the mug (besides the heart-tugging memories!) is that it was made for McDonalds by Fire King.  Fire King made pressed glass dinnerware, which they discontinued in the late 1970s.  For some reason, I really love the look and feel of all types of vintage glass and ceramic kitchenware.  If I could, I would have a whole display case filled with old Pyrex, Fire King and milk glass bowls and dishware and I would use it every darn tootin’ day.  Cross my heart!

So … back to food.  I used those ingredients to make Crab Macaroni and Cheese.  It isn’t really a post worthy of But I Suck At Cooking because I didn’t really fail spectacularly in the making of the dish.  But you know, I didn’t really like it.  I did detect a bit of a grainy flour taste (I can never seem to get rid of that when making my own cheese sauce for mac and cheese, no matter how much I whisk).  But other than that, it was a dish made right that tasted anything but right.  And I made a lot:

A part of it was definitely the crab.  The flavor just didn’t mix well with the cheese sauce.  But I think if it had been straight up mac and cheese, I would have still been less than impressed.  I have yet to find The Mac and Cheese Recipe (for me), the one I would consider the Ultimate Holy Grail of Mac and Cheese (for me).  Anyone care to share theirs with me?  🙂

And also, is there any way to salvage this, since Martin and I now have a lot of it to eat?

PS.  I kept hearing this weird sound that I couldn’t identify.  Then I realized it was rain.  Nothing weird or sinister, just straight up rain.  I blame this on living in CA.  It makes me forget what rain sounds like.  🙂