Monday, November 23, 2015

The Tale of the Good Queen, the Hapless Princess and the Magical Morphing Mac and Cheese

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a wonderful queen who was good to her subjects and made sure they had shelter and blankets and food in their bellies.  This modest queen settled arguments, gave of her time and funds to the poor and needy, and was well-loved by all who knew her.   The queen did not believe in servants, but she was so kind, her loyal subjects lined up every day to win a chance to help her around the castle.  Only a few were chosen every day and it was considered a great honor to sacrifice time to assist the queen and her family.

The one thing the queen would never allow anyone else to do was cook for her or her family.  She preferred to do it herself, not only because cooking was a particular passion of hers, but because she was petrified of poison.   (Which, truth be told, everyone thought was silly since she was so beloved by all.  Who would poison her?)   Her favorite thing to make was a humble pasta dish which (though pasta was rare in those times) was a family favorite.  The ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness paired with pasta was particularly pleasurable to her family’s palate.

But, as fairy tales go, tragedy struck, and the noble and gentle queen was struck with a wasting sickness - poisoned by her own body - which eventually stole her from her family and delivered her to the great realm in the sky.  Her family was devastated and struggled to move on after the horrible loss, but they did so in their own separate ways.

Many years later, her oldest daughter, the princess (who was never meant for the throne), was married and had a family of her own.  She remembered the queen often and fondly, though the princess had been very young when her mother had succumbed to cruel fate.  One of the best things she remembered about the queen was her pasta and cheese dish, but, though she’d tried several times to recreate it herself, she proved to be a hapless, dismal failure in the kitchen.  The princess certainly had not inherited her mother the queen’s talent for mealtime magic.  She could, if given time and left alone, prepare perfectly palatable – and on occasion, even pleasurable – meals for her family, but her husband (times were more modern so it was not strange) was an excellent cook.  No one went hungry and no one ate burned toast unless they wanted to.

After years of defeat and distress at not having been able to provide the pleasant pasta dish for her family, the princess discovered a magical repository of virtual information and began researching and testing in earnest.  Finally, she had it!  The princess was able to create a perfect reproduction of the queen’s popular pasta repast and it was an immediate hit with her own family.  Now, with a few tweaks and super-secret ingredients she has made this dish her own, but with enough of the original recipe as to be able to think of her mother the queen whenever she makes and consumes it. 

And they lived happily ever after...with pasta.  And cheese.

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