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Posted by on Aug 9, 2021 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired: ‘IS IT KRAFT DINNER? OR IS IT ME?’

Living Retired: ‘IS IT KRAFT DINNER? OR IS IT ME?’

Living Retired: ‘IS IT KRAFT DINNER? OR IS IT ME?’

Wheaties may be the breakfast of champions. However, Kraft Dinner is the staff of life.

But I have a beef with my favourite cheese: I do not think Kraft Dinner tastes like it did when we were younger. I wish I could say it is ‘getting cheddar’ – but it isn’t.

“Jan, this Kraft Dinner doesn’t taste as good as when I was a kid.”

“Gary, it is not only your taste of Kraft Dinner that has changed. Your taste in fashion is nothing to write home about. Look at your relax-fit pants you are wearing. You have them hiked halfway up to your armpits! It is not a pretty picture. You must have recessive jeans.”

Most peoples’ love affair with Kraft Dinner can be traced back to their university days – when first year students lived on-campus with a cafeteria meal plan featuring mystery meat and fish sticks. By the second year they moved off-campus into slum-style rentals decorated with cardboard beer case coffee tables and empty Mateus wine bottles with dried candlewax dripping down. To afford this lifestyle they survived on Kraft Dinner!

Back in those days Kraft Dinner was maybe .39 cents a box. These days to purchase a package of the non-perishable dry macaroni with a packet of processed cheese powder is close to two dollars – even more!

Jan is quick to tell me that Kraft Dinner is a recipe made for me…

“Gary, you can’t go wrong. You boil water, add the macaroni, cook, drain, stir in milk and butter, and mix in the powdered cheese.”

This may be simple for some, but not me. First, I have to open the package! On the side of the box up near the top there is a spot that has a small, perforated line. It says, ‘PRESS IN, TEAR BACK TOP.’ Nonsense. This hasn’t happened in my lifetime! Each time I follow these directions, part of the top tares off scattering dry macaroni noodles across the kitchen floor! So instead, I grab a razer-sharp butcher knife and slice through the box top. Please tell me you are the same; that I am not all thumbs.

Even boiling the pot of water creates grief for me. Inevitably, the water boils overtop the pot down onto the stove top. For gas stove cooks like me, this douses the flame. And why is it that some of the small noodles cement themselves onto the bottom of the pot making it a chore to clean?

As I am writing this I have a box of KD beside my keyboard. Across the front it says, ‘Now Cheesier.’ It may be ‘Now Cheesier,’ but it does not taste the same as when I came home from elementary school and made myself KD for lunch.

Ahh, maybe this is the answer: at the bottom of the box in large font it says, ‘NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS, COLOURS, OR PRESERVATIVES.’ Hey, if I want something to eat with no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives – I would have bought tofu!

My friend, Lew, is grateful for his mac and cheese. He relishes himself as a bit of a ‘KD Connoisseur.’ For further flavour, Lew artfully slices wieners – always on the bias! – and stirs them in. Magnifique!

The package says, ‘KD ORIGINAL,’ so I went online to see what other flavours are available. I was gobsmacked! These days you can purchase ‘Original,’ ‘Thick & Creamy,’ ‘Gluten Free,’ ‘Whole Grain,’ ‘White Bean,’ ‘White Cheddar,’ ‘White Cheddar and Bacon’, ‘White Cheddar with Garlic & Herbs’, and ‘Sharp Cheddar with Herbs’!!! All I want is ‘TASTES LIKE WHAT YOU REMEMBER IT TASTED LIKE WHEN YOU WERE A KID!’

You can also buy Kraft Dinner shapes – ‘Unicorn’ and ‘Spirals’ – although if you ask me macaroni shapes are pointless!

There’s more! Someone came up with the novel idea to make Halloween Monster mac and cheese!

“I was cooking in my kitchen late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight; For my monster on the stove began to rise, And suddenly to my surprise: He did the MAC! He did the MONSTER MAC! The MONSTER MAC! It was a stovetop smash!”