DIY Kraft Dinner

kd with elbow macaroniKD is the ultimate comfort food/fast food, especially for Canadians (says Wikipedia) who have grown up on it since it came on the market in the 1930s. A lot of people take pride in “doctoring” it, using it as the base for their culinary skills. But for me, it’s best just as it comes out of the box, with ketchup on top.

But Kraft changed the macaroni from the regular elbow type to thin tubes. To me, two kinds of macaronithey always seem overcooked and they have no texture, no body. It’s like eating orange pablum. KD became a constant disappointment to me, despite always being hopeful that a new type they brought out would be how I remember it. (KD macaroni left in photo, elbow macaroni right)

Kraft Dinner boxesIn Bulk Barn one day, passing the bin of bright orange cheese sauce powder, I had a thrilling thought. Maybe I could make my own. I had recently read that Kraft Dinner was born when, in 1937, a Kraft salesman put a rubber band around a packet of grated cheese and a box of macaroni and sold them together as an instant meal. Why couldn’t I retrace his steps? Treating them as separate components lets me pick the macaroni I want.

Bulk Barn cheese powderBulk Barn has instructions for its Macaroni and Cheese Sauce Mix #252 beside the bin. The amounts of cheese powder and macaroni called for is exactly the same as what is in a box of KD. You make it exactly the same way. And it tastes exactly the same, only with nice fat elbow macaroni. You can, of course, use any pasta you wish.

Amazon link for Jamie Oliver Comfort FoodJamie Oliver’s cookbook Comfort Food shows you how you can make tastier and healthier versions of your favourite foods. He probably has a delicious mac and cheese. But when you want Kraft Dinner, that’s what you want. Bulk Barn allows me to make it look and taste the way it does in my memory.

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