Monday, November 28, 2016


When I asked my younger son if he had any requests for our Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family, he didn't hesitate to respond back: ham. Then I asked re veggies, etc and he said, "mac an cheese, stuffing, pecan pie". (He said stuffing, but we call it dressing; that's what he grew up to hearing, but probably hears stuffing now. The grandchildren requested the mac 'n cheese.)

While planning how all of this was going to work out and be ready at the same time, I came across this recipe for macaroni and cheese in my Mennonite Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley cookbook collected by Phyllis Pellman Good and Kate Good. Micehelle G. Showalter from Bridgewater, VA said she slipped it in the oven before leaving for church. You see it cooks in a slow oven (225 degrees) for 3 hours. 

Well, I immediately wondered if I could try it in my slow cooker instead (since the ham would be in the oven almost that long but at a different temperature).
For probably the first time since I started this blog, I decided I should try it first. (I didn't want to make it and then it not work out and disappoint my grandchildren. That would have been catastrophic.) My husband said he was real proud of me. 

I have an oven/roaster I bought at an estate sale for my older son's wife, but then she decided she didn't need it when she saw it. Deciding to keep it for myself, I have used it a number of times and am really pleased with it. It serves as a slow cooker, cook, roast, bake, and steam (temperature from 125 degrees to 425 degrees.) I decided I would try the recipe in it. Michelle says to cook it uncovered in the oven, but I decided I would put the lid on the cooker. 

Well, it worked! I was so glad when I took a peak at it at about 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was nice and golden brown just like I think it was supposed to be in the oven. My husband loved it; I was concerned because the macaroni really cooked. Not burned, just didn't look like macaroni so much any more. When I made it for our dinner, I cooked it about 2-1/2 hours.

The big surprise was when my husband and I heated up some for leftovers. We both agreed that we liked it better. The flavor was stronger; actually had more of a macaroni and cheese taste. My concern about the macaroni since it cooked so completely wasn't a problem either when we warmed it up. (I put about as much as I wanted to eat in a bowl, sprinkled a little water over it, covered it with a loose lid, and heated it for 1 minutes at 70% power. It was perfect.)

The first time I made it, I used mild cheddar cheese. For our Thanksgiving dinner, I used sharp cheddar cheese. I would definitely recommend using the latter. It tasted like mac 'n cheese the first time.


3        tablespoons butter
1-1/2  cups uncooked macaroni
4        cups milk
2        cups grated cheese (8 - ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated)
1         teaspoon salt
1/2     teaspoon pepper

In a slow cooker, melt butter (Turn on high to melt the butter or melt butter in microwave and pour into cooker.)
Add macaroni and stir to coat completely.

Add remaining ingredients.
Stir well.

Bake for 2-1/2 to 3 hours if you can set the cooker to 225 degrees.

If your cooker only has High and Low settings, cook on High but check after 2 hours. (The second time I cooked it, I turned it off after 2-1/2 hours and it was perfect.)

Michelle's Oven Prep: In a 2 - quart casserole, melt butter. Stir in macaroni. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients. Bake uncovered at 225 degrees for 3 hours.

For the main course, I baked a ham with cherry sauce. I will be sharing that recipe with you tomorrow. Hope you will come back and check it out. It was so delicious!

Here is a picture of my oven/roaster. (I am not being paid to endorse this cooker.)

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