My Mamaw wasn’t a five-star chef, but she was really good at a handful of meals. She knew what each of her grandchildren loved to eat and made it a point to make those items for us. My request was always fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and butter beans. This was her macaroni and cheese recipe with one change from me.
I thankfully had her teach me how she made this one year while visiting her. No this isn’t the best macaroni and cheese recipe out there! No, it’s not a gooey cheese sauce-based dish, or one with that magical string pull of cheese. What it is, however, is a humble pasta made with simple ingredients that were found in a tiny back woods’ country store in rural Mississippi.
She often had canned milk, dry macaroni noodles, red wax hoop cheddar cheese, and Velveeta cheese that was shelf stable. Sometimes when she made this it had very little cheese, other times it was loaded down. It often depended upon how much she had to work with. The same goes for the topping. Sometimes it was just cheese on top, sometimes she put saltines and cheese, and sometimes she used ritz crackers with cheese. It was whatever was on hand and could be used, because she didn’t have the luxury of driving to the store five minutes away. It was instead a good thirty to forty-five minutes away. However, she made it I loved it, because I knew she made it just for me. And I knew that that was how she said I Love you!
I remember when she was making saying to me you can just pour the milk over the top but cooking it a little first helps to thicken it and make it taste better. It was those tiny little things she said that have stuck with me when I look back on my time with her. Now I know she never used Cheezits on top of her macaroni and cheese, but I love how it adds a little crunchy cheese flavor to the top. So, while it isn’t exactly like hers, I feel like it is my little addition to make it better. And I’m sure she would approve. One little tip is to make one for now and an extra one for the freezer that can be baked later or given to a friend. Enjoy!
Mamaw’s Macaroni & Cheese
- 1 pound box macaroni noodles
- ½ pound cheddar cheese
- 1 stick butter
- ½ pound Velveeta cheese
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 2-3 Tbsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 packet crackers saltine or Ritz or 2 cups Cheezits
- Boil noodles in salted water until cooked, then drain off water and set aside. Cut both cheeses in into small cubes. In a casserole dish, layer cooked macaroni, chunks of both cheese, slices of butter, and salt and pepper (just a sprinkle of each) until dish is full. Heat evaporated milk in a small pan on the stove until bubbly. Stirring constantly. Pour milk over all the layers and sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on top. Cover top with shredded cheese, or a mixture of cheese and crushed crackers. Cook at 375’F until cheese is melted and contents bubbles. About 10-20 minutes