A week ago I ruined a box of macaroni and cheese. I grew up making mac-n-cheese for myself. Standing at the stove, I'd stir the noodles constantly while reading a book. I would test the noodles, sucking them into my mouth off a wooden spoon, chewing them fast so they didn't burn.
I never timed the noodles. I don't know what the instructions on the box say.
Last Sunday, I timed the noodles. I used the timer on my iPhone, cause it's still brand new and shiny and it is far sexier to use that timer than the old boring one that is stuck to the stove.
I set the timer for ten minutes and walked away. Probably playing with my phone like a child with a new toy; I didn't stir. I didn't even set foot back into the kitchen until the timer went off, the horrible buzzing alarm that I'd chosen as an alert clanging in my ears.
I had ruined the mac-n-cheese. Soft, soggy noodles made me think of over-cooked bits of brain. I ate it, because I'm like that, but every bite was like chewing up squishy cheese-flavoured maggots.
Today I wanted a sandwich. Or fresh, hot pizza. Or home-made chili. I have none of these things, but I have more mac-n-cheese.
I stood at the stove, reading Carlucci's Edge and stirring my noodles like a good girl. I put the stopwatch on my phone on, so I could determine exactly how long to cook my noodles.
It turns out, I like them at right about three and a half minutes.
I ate my food too fast, and now I have something like heartburn.