Hi, Mac

RAINY days invite people to eat and eat and eat. What’s with rain and wind that drive people to the brink of gluttony? Why does it seem people go on auto-pilot when it comes to eating more than what’s needed when the rains come down?

Discounting rains and winds caused by typhoons, there is something about raindrops on windowpanes and trees dancing in the breeze.

Could it be the hypnotic way tree branches sway with the wind? Does it call to mind past meals? People smack their lips at the memory of linat-ang manok. The soup is made with whole chicken or chicken parts cooked with potatoes, quartered cabbage and green beans.

Is it the way rain pours down in thin streams? Does it make people think of spaghetti or even macaroni?

That’s it. Rain triggers our desire for comfort food. One comfort food we “abuse” at home is macaroni. My family has used it in various ways. Keep a bag of salad or elbow macaroni for rainy days or days when the rain check can’t be cashed or when the cash has turned into water. I’m sharing some of my family’s “Hi, Mac” recipes.

PANNON’S MAD MAC. Pannon mixes lemon juice, salt and minced bell pepper to lots of mayonnaise. He also dices one small can of Spam and flakes one boiled chicken breast. He mixes everything up with the salad pasta and tosses in pickle relish, yellow raisins and chopped cashew nuts.

Sometimes he replaces the bell pepper with white onion and forgets to add the nuts. Humor him. He’s just a kid but his recipe is rather good according to Gordon Ramsay. Just kidding. Humor me. I’m just an old guy.

TITA BLITTE’S MAC-A-BOLA. Make a batch of your favorite meatballs to cook later. Saute garlic and onion in stock pot. Add chicken stock or water. Allow to boil then add one cup elbow or salad macaroni. We’ve used the latter a lot of times for recipes other than salad! Add meatballs. Adjust seasoning. You may add veggies if you like.

DONA’S PASTA BOWL. My cousin, Dona, invented this dish one day when all we had at home was salad pasta, corned tuna, half block cheese, one carrot and half a cabbage head.

Julienne the carrots and slice the cabbage into half-inch pieces. Boil 1 1/2 cups salad pasta or pasta of choice; drain and set aside.

Saute garlic and onion, then add the corned tuna. After two minutes, add the carrots followed by the cabbage after a minute. Moisten with 3/4 cup water. When cabbage has wilted, add the pasta. The dish will not be soupy. Just before serving, top with grated cheese.


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