Cheese and Macaroni

I, honestly, cannot remember what brought me here. I was working and suddenly I had this intense flashback to something I ate when I was a child.

Kraft egg noodle and chicken dinner.

Do you remember this?

It was right by the macaroni and cheese, but the box was brown, not blue. It was delicious. I liked it better than mac-and-cheese, but for some reason we didn’t have it very often.

It popped into my head and I finally decided to google it to see if they still made it. I would have bought it online, just to try it again and see what sort of memories it brought back. I also wonder if it tastes like I remember it tasting. Or smells like I remember it smelling.

I even tried to find a picture of it, but I couldn’t. Apparently, no one took pictures of it in the 1980s. However, I did find this:

It looked exactly like that, except it was brown and instead of “Cheddar Cheese” it said “Chicken”.

Then, I did find this:

Apparently, in the late 1990s they revamped the box. However, in 2009 they discontinued the product altogether. Isn’t that sad? If you do a web search for the product you will read testimonials and reviews of people begging Kraft to bring the product back.

There are stories of mothers cooking it for children, the memories it invokes, the idea of it being the ultimate comfort food. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to bringing it back.  I empathize with them all. It is a strong memory for me. It is the taste of my childhood. I don’t have a ton of food memories from when I was a kid. Like most kids, eating was that thing your mother made you do in between bouts of play. My food memories are mostly because of the story. Like when my dad brought Tabbouleh home from work on a night he was in charge of dinner. It was awful. But he made us eat it. We couldn’t leave the table until we ate it. I think it was the latest we ever stayed at the table in my childhood. Or the week my mother went to Mexico with friends and my dad bought a ham the day she left and then proceeded to feed us ham for seven straight days.

But those are rare for me. For most children, I think. We didn’t focus on what we ate, we just ate. However, I can clearly recall going to the grocery store with my mother and asking her to buy the egg noodle chicken dinner, instead of just macaroni and cheese. And she would, but she didn’t always. It was not a staple at our house. It was special. It was a treat.

Like I said, I don’t know how I got here, but it was a nice little side trip back into the 1980s. If this evoked memories for you, go to youtube and look up Kraft macaroni and cheese commercials. I was shocked at how many of them I clearly remember.

“Make some Kraft macaroni and cheese, PLEASE!” They had a jingle. I had forgotten it until I heard it. It’s there, but do you remember this one?

My brothers and I used to sit at the table and do that to each other with our spoons whenever we had mac and cheese. Clear as day I can recall that, sitting at the dining room table, in front of the patio door. Mom would serve us and we would hold up our spoons and pretend to hypnotize each other and get each other to say “cheese and macaroni” instead. And we’d flit our eyes back and forth like that until we were overcome with the giggles.

Come on, Kraft, you’re as popular as you’ve ever been. Bring back my savory chicken dinner. PLEASE.