Kidzilla wanted macaroni and cheese for lunch today. From a box. The kind with powder for cheese.
This is quite possibly the most disturbing meal on the planet. It has powder for cheese. Orange powder. White powder, if you get the fancy cheddar on shells variety, which is what Zilla wanted today. Either way, it is cheese in powder form that does not require refrigeration.
And yet millions of children across America love this stuff.
Kidzilla loves this stuff. She loves it so much that when she was still in the womb, it was the only thing she would let me eat for about three and a half months. After that, she switched to demanding that I eat steak. A lot of steak.
Fab Husband loves this stuff, for crying out loud. Once upon a time, the man could eat an entire box by himself and call it a snack.
I don’t get it.
So Zilla decided she wanted mac-and-cheese-from-a-box-with-powdered-cheese for lunch today, but we did not have any in the house. (OK, yes, I admit that we generally keep a couple of boxes in the pantry for just such cravings. Number one here is good old Kraft in the blue box, but we have also discovered that Annie’s are pretty good, too. Just in case you want to know.)
Today, however, there were no boxes. And so, because he is the Most Fabulous Dad and would provide anything Zilla’s heart desires for lunch, He set off for the
untamed wild supermarket to hunt and gather.
When He returned with his spoils, Zilla decided she wanted to help Fab Dad prepare the mac and cheese. Why is Fab Dad doing the food prep? Because He is the Mac & Cheese King around here. Nobody on the planet makes it as well as He does. Seriously, the man has a gift.
Now, Zilla loves to help in the kitchen. She stirs, she pours, she adds ingredients, she ices cupcakes, she even chops a few soft vegetables. And Fab Husband/Dad has managed to make a couple of things completely on his own in recent weeks that did not result in the need to call a contractor. But Zilla and He Who Blows Up Kitchens in the mix together???
I’m staying right over here on the other side of the room. Too far to be in the immediate trajectory of danger, but close enough to douse a fire…you know, should the need arise.
Everything went pretty smoothly. There was some brief tension as Fab Dad and Zilla did the little dance of who was in whose space at the counter. Zilla wanted to be in charge, but there was a gas flame involved and Fab Dad quickly ended that debate. But overall, the process was relatively uncomplicated.
They even discussed the process.
Zilla: “Dadda. I want to help in the process.”
He: “The process is kind of on hold right now.” (the noodle cooking part)
Z: “Well, I want to help in the process.”
He: “At this point in the process we just kind of stand here and wait.”
And with that, she adopted precisely the same stance as her Dadda and…they waited.
The end result was some pretty darn good mac-and-cheese-from-a-box-with-powdered-cheese. We all had some. Fab Dad cleaned up…because nothing makes me more nauseous than the dirty mac-and-cheese-from-a-box-with-powdered-cheese pot.
The best part of it all, though, was not really the mac and cheese (sorry, Annie’s – no offense). It was the several things I realized and observed during the process:
- Zilla and Her Dad look an awful lot alike right now.
- They also talk and speak and think an awful lot alike.
- Zilla and Her Dad have a great thing going. At the moment, it is a shared love of mac-and-cheese-from-a-box-with-powdered-cheese. But later, I suspect, it will be a shared love of many more things.
- I had a vision of the future today. Zilla and Fab Dad were once again standing in the kitchen making mac and cheese, but they were discussing much more pressing issues than the prep process. They were discussing boys and college and life and whether He will EVER let Zilla drive or date. I pray with all my heart that this vision becomes reality and they continue to discuss lots of things over mac and cheese.
- Zilla’s Fab Dad adores her; Zilla adores Her Dad. This mutual admiration society is OK by me. Their time together is so important for her. They have Zilla/Dadda dates and do all kinds of things together. Again, I hope with all my heart that they continue to do so.
- Zilla gives her Fab Dad a run for his money. She has him wrapped securely around her precious little finger – as it should be. In this young woman, He may just have met his match. And so He makes valiant efforts to stay one step ahead of her – as it should be.
And there it is: the Mac & Cheese edition of “He Cooks!” – served with a side of Wow I Am a Lucky Wife and Mom.
Tune in next time for Oregano Teriyaki Chicken!