Macaroni and Cheese in a can

Macaroni Pie vs. Macaroni and Cheese… In a Can?

To be honest, I don’t even see this as a fair fight, but this is the internet, and sometimes those who do not deserve to win, end up winning anyway.

I don’t eat everybody’s macaroni and cheese. Once, someone slipped some cream cheese in it and I have yet to recover emotionally. Macaroni and cheese is the only dish that can make me decide not to eat at your house. If there is water at the bottom of the aluminum pan, you can forget it. Not eatin’ dat.

My parents are from Trinidad and Tobago, so we don’t really have a whole lot of cheese-based things that I grew up eating. I mostly got macaroni and cheese from the homes of southern black American friends and “framily” so it was more like the macaroni pie I was accustomed to than the abomination that I ate occasionally as a child known as, “blue box” (our box wasn’t blue – it was whatever color store brand was because store brand was 25 cents and well – trash is trash – no need to spend more for name brand).

Macaroni and Cheese in a can
Macaroni pie versus macaroni and cheese in a can. Why.

My macaroni is great. I can say that with confidence and certainty. Once, I baked a knife in it and my friends and family said it was the best one I’d ever made. If I bring a dish to a potluck, this is what I’m bringing. I rarely cook for people so if I’ve cooked for you before, consider yourself loved. But if I give you blue box or macaroni…. wait for it… IN A CAN… I clearly wish you nothing but bad luck and intestinal distress. This post contains affiliate links, so if you decide to buy some macaroni in a can, it won’t cost you more than it normally would (except maybe your colon), but I’ll get a little change.

So what is macaroni pie? Mine is really simple. I use eggs (a southern thing) but you don’t have to. Most people don’t even know I have eggs in mine. Mine is very simple. I don’t do a roux or any of that. I boil the macaroni, drain it, melt the butter in the pot that is still hot, put the macaroni back in the pot, add way too much cheese (sharp, medium, AND mild cheddar), add salt and pepper, add the eggs (stir immediately and fast so that it doesn’t cook the eggs), add milk (until my DNA tells me to stop), stir for my life, pour it into a baking dish, top it with more cheese, cover it with foil and bake. It is fast, I don’t measure, and it comes out pretty much the same every time.

Related: 22 Things Caribbean American and African American Families Have in Common

It is very simple to make – the one in the photo above? My daughter made that when she was 11. There’s no reason for people to be out here eating macaroni in a can . None.

But people all over the world are doing it.

Canned Macaroni and Cheese by Heinz.
They’re doing this in the UK… and exporting it. Don’t believe me?

“But Eva,” you may ask, “what about the convenience of just pouring out the macaroni and cheese into a microwaveable bowl?”

Make two pans of macaroni pie. Freeze one. Maybe cut one up and put it into containers and freeze those. That’s about as convenient as this needs to get.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I feel the need to say this. Do not bring mac and cheese in a can or blue box. If you volunteer to bring the macaroni, people are expecting it to be baked. And don’t get fancy with these internet recipes. Don’t add cream cheese. Or raisins. Or shaved brussels sprouts. Or any type of vegetable actually. Or fruit. If you add gruyere or mozzarella, we won’t fight you, but – be careful. Don’t get crazy.

Related: What Does Your Caribbean American Thanksgiving Look Like?

If the person volunteering to bring the macaroni and cheese says to you, “what’s the difference – I’ll just bring blue box” or “it’ll take me about 15 minutes to make macaroni and cheese,” suggest they bring ice or napkins. They can’t be trusted.

How do you make macaroni and cheese? Have you ever had it from a can? Let’s talk about it in the comments.