Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Magical Macaroni Memories.


Imagine my joy when I walked into my local English supermarket and behold, there it was.  Beside all the other pasta products was the above macaroni marvel.  Imagine my cheesy grin.  Imagine the bewildered looks of the staff and customers as I whooped and cheered the vision before me.
Instantly, the magical macaroni memories came flooding back.  Back to 1972 and the excitement of living in a high rise apartment in the West End section of downtown Vancouver.  Back to those days when an eighteen year old kid, along with his buddy, Rob, had moved out of the safety of our homes and began the new journey in our lives.  Yes visualise an eighteen year old with long hair, long 'peach fuzz' sideburns and silly flared trousers and you basically visualise me.
Those were difficult times.  Barely enough money to pay the rent.  Barely enough money to buy some groceries.  Yet we were resourceful.  We would cash in our pop bottles and get enough money together to purchase that special treat known as a "Kraft Macaroni Dinner".   I recall sitting there, eating the macaroni and listening to Pink Floyd's, "Dark Side of the Moon".  Life was good.
Now then, Kraft has bought Cadbury the chocolate company and I shudder at the thought of chocolate flavoured macaroni dinners.  
And thus, I purchased several packages of the British equivalent of that cheesy meal.  Magical macaroni memories are mine.  Now, I shall cook some up, listen to Dark Side of the Moon and go find my silly flared trousers.

78 comments:

  1. They were cheap and easy to make. So were Ramen Noodles.
    What about Cadbury chocolate eggs filled with cheese? Does that sound any better?

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    1. Hey Alex,
      And over here, they have these cheap packets of "Pot Noodles". Although, I must admit after eating said Pot Noodle, I didn't feel any different.
      Cadbury chocolate eggs filled with cheese sounds like some kind of surreal breakfast:)
      All the best and happy eating....

      Delete
  2. Isn't that great...I celebrate with you....cheesy grins all around. Gary, if you email me your address I promise you I will mail you kraft macaroni and cheese for your birthday. Who knew you were so easy to please?

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    1. Hi Delores,
      I'm easy to cheese! Cheese and thank you. Actually, when I came back from Canada last June, I brought back ten packets of Kraft Macaroni dinners for me. Somehow, my son ended up eating them because he likes the weird waxy flavour. Thanks for your kind offer. However, the ones available here are just as weird as the ones I remember from Canada.
      They bring back memories of how they tasted okay at first. Although reheating them and they tasted awful.
      Thanks Delores :)

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  3. my sons favorite food mac and cheese

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    1. Hi becca,
      I wonder if your son notices that if you dare eat them cold, you might as well be eating candle wax :)

      Delete
  4. I have never liked macaroni and cheese and yet I love cheese. Maybe because that orange stuff isn't really cheese.

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    1. Hey PT,
      The orange stuff is indeed pretend cheese and the macaroni is pretend macaroni...

      Delete
  5. Hi Y'all,

    How y'all doin'? Just stopped by for a visit. My Human said to tell y'all that she has many fond memories of mac and cheese dinners courtesy of Kraft from her young days too.

    Please give Penny, the Internet Star, my love.

    Hope y'all are havin' a great week!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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    1. Howdy Hawk,
      I think, despite its rather different taste, that brand of macaroni dinner, brings back many a fond memory.
      And you know, I never known a dog that didn't like real cheese.
      I shall pass on your loving and pawsitive wishes to Penny. She adores y'all and your blog :)
      Y'all take good care, ya hear...

      Delete
  6. Oh Gary, I'm back there with you, only without the fuzzy sideburns. Hey! I thought you were 20 in 1973 along with your adoring groupie Joylene! Please don't tell me I'm older!

    Off to bury my head.

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    1. Hey Joylene,
      I was quite the site with my cute n' fuzzy sideburns :) I was 20 in 1973. In June 1972 I was still 18. That is when I moved into the apartment. In July of 1972, I became 19. There you go :)
      Cheesy smiles, your way, Gary

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    2. Haha, I knew you were gonna say that. Just checking to see if it really is you. Cus only the real Gary would know that for the beginning of 72 he was 18, but by July 5th he was 19! ... Which means I AM older! Boo Hoo. Gawd, I was on pablum by the time you were born!

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    3. Ah Joylene, note me being meticulous in my detail :) Yes, on July 5th, 2012, I shall be 59. Right now I'm just a mere kid of 58. You might be just ever so slightly older than me. However, you have that youthful glow that is the envy of other ladies your age. Ah Pablum, must go and see if they sell that here....

      Delete
  7. When my kids were little we went through boxes and boxes of KD! So many great memories associated with it! So glad you find some :)

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    1. Hi Jemi,
      It's neat how something as innocent as a pack of macaroni can bring back such marvellous memories. Thanks and I have a cupboard full of the stuff! :)

      Delete
  8. Ah, Kraft macaroni & cheese and paisley bell bottoms (not to mention Pink Floyd), now that is the way to live!

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    1. Hi Susan,
      Oh yes, Kraft macaroni and cheese without the bell bottoms mixed into the concoction :) Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and Yes were a bit of a musical trip...

      Delete
  9. Mac and Cheese should be a staple in any household! Many of us and future college students owe a great deal to the Kraft company for such a yummy, inexpensive snack

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    1. Hi Heather,
      Indeed it certainly brings back fond memories of those early struggling days and the macaroni and cheese was a quick, cheap and easy meal. After I cashed in the pop bottles, of course :)

      Delete
  10. I guess I'm a bit of a snob...if I'm going to have macaroni & cheese, I like to make it fresh with real cheese. My daughter insists on Kraft dinner though.

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    1. Hi Ian,
      Oh I agree with you. Much rather prepare it using my own macaroni and real cheese. Just the sight of seeing the equivalent product brought back some distant memories.
      Take care and enjoy your real macaroni dinner.

      Delete
  11. What the hell!? I am the girl version of you! Kraft Mac and Cheese, Dark Side of the Moon and bell-bottoms for sure!!! Good times.

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    1. Hi middle child,
      Ah yes, the girl version of me, mini skirt, hot pants, bell bottomed jeans and listening to Pink Floyd while munching on some Kraft macaroni and cheese :)

      Delete
  12. Pretend cheese with pretend macaroni? Isn't that a bit like a bladeless knife with no handle?
    By the way, if you could still get into the flares you wore at eighteen I'd much impressed!
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Hello bazza,
      Of course it is. Actually, this might be a pretend comment back.
      I'd be impressed if I could get into my flared trousers. Probably bend over and end up splitting them revealing my paisley underwear....

      Delete
  13. Hello Gary:
    Oh dear, we do not like Macaroni. Never have and never will, we suspect. And, as for this cheesy concoction in a box......well, you are a brave man we feel to let it pass your lips!

    However, if you can mange to slip into the flared trousers of your youth, we are impressed, since we should not even care to think how impossible it would be for us to manage a similar activity. We feel an Abba revival party coming on.....

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    1. Hi Jane and Lance,
      When you say "we", I'm assuming neither one of you have sampled the almost cheesy delight of that legendary boxed product. Of course, the macaroni and cheese product is symbolic of a time long ago and it represented the early days of my time beyond my family's home.
      I shall squeeze into my flared trousers and sing songs more likely sounding like the Bee Gees.

      Delete
  14. Dear Gary,
    Ah, macaroni and cheese, and such magical memories. I can just imagine you in your flares, listening to "Dark Side of the Moon", eating this delicious meal with your friend. In fact, I often think of you, Gary, my hairy pal, and now I can picture you in my mind, sideburns and all, thanks to this magical posting. Indeed, I can't seem to get the image out of my head now, goddarn it!
    Very Best Wishes, your way,
    David.

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    1. Dear David,
      Ah such a magical cheesy moment meandering in your mind. Perhaps I should grow my sideburns long again just to delight you beyond your scariest dreams. Although I do recall at one time in my life when I had sideburns and the ladies in the office nicknamed me "Cornelius". Then I watched "Planet of the Apes"!
      All the beast, I mean best, Gary

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  15. Silly flared trousers? Nothing silly about them - I still think they're the bee's knees. Enjoy your cheesey treat and the music :-) x

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    1. Hi Teresa,
      My flared trousers have the word "silly" printed all over them. Okay, I'm kidding.
      Must go now, eat macaroni and cheese and listen to Pink Floyd :)
      x

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  16. Oh the Seventies are so IN!! Go retro! LOL!!

    And if they can have chocolate philadelphia cheese then by jingo they can make chocolate mac n cheese too! Yay! Take care
    x

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    1. Hi Old Kitty,
      I knew keeping my seventies clothes would mean that eventually they would come back into fashion. Best not mention the eighties :)
      Oh yes, chocolate Philadelphia cream cheese. Forgot about that and um thanks for the reminder.
      Look after yourself and that cat, Charlie.
      x

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  17. Hey, at least it was brand name mac&cheese :P

    I thought one wasn't allowed to call Cadbury's "chocolate" because it doesn't contain enough cocoa? You know, those silly EU regulations.

    I associate Cadbury's with my year in Edinburgh, where my local Tesco (I know!) would stick the sweets section right at the entrance. Hence I got acquainted with many a Cadbury product... Sigh.

    Have a beautiful day, buddy. Hope you're doing well.

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    1. Hi Chris,
      It was a big surprise to see the brand name product in the shop. I've seen similar generic products but just aren't the same.
      Oh those strange EU regulations. I recall a time that a banana had to be of a certain length and curvature to be considered a proper banana, according to EU regulations.
      I know I much prefer British um 'chocolate' as opposed to that 'gloried wax' they sell in North America.
      Thanks for your kind wishes, Chris. I must come and visit your most articulate and thoughtful site.
      With kind wishes, your way, Gary

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  18. Himself eats them here too. Though he adds so many things to them (bacon, onion, tomato, garlic, whatever meat is to hand) that he tells me they taste completely different. I notice he is not big on them the second night though. And Dark Side of the Moon is still good. Even without macaroni cheese.

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    1. Hi Elephant's Child,
      Oh yeah, add all those extra ingredients to spice it up a little. On the second night, or when it has gone cold, it loses its aesthetic quality.
      Dark Side of the Moon, without macaroni, is marvellous :)

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  19. when I see magical I always think magical mystery tour and kraft would be part of it!
    of course along with ramen noodles, hostess ding dongs an ho-hos, college days would not be complete with out them. gee, what a cheesy idea for a post!

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    1. Hey Ray,
      Thought you might relate to this and now you have mentioned some other goodies from my youth. I've never seen "Twinkies" in Britain. Must go check that out.
      Magical, cheesy wishes, your way, Gary

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  20. Wonderful, know exactly what you mean, during my years in Africa if I came across a product from England it was magical.

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    1. Hi Carole,
      It sure can be a moment of magic when you find something in another land or continent and it is a product from where you came from. I remember seeing a jar of Marmite in Canada. I also saw the price and gave it a miss.
      Hugs, Gary :)

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  21. I have the same nostalgia for eggs and rice. Takes me right back to the youngun I was, revelling in freedom and silly bellbottoms. It's been too long since I sat back and listened to Floyd. But summer's almost here... and we're still young, at heart. :)
    Laura
    x

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    1. Hi Laura,
      Maybe you can have some eggs, rice and find some special moment to listen to Pink Floyd and finish with a bit of ELP :)
      Young at heart. You betcha'!
      Take care, Laura.
      Gary
      x

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  22. The Big Mac has similar memories for me. :-D

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  23. Hey Misha,
    Oh the Big Mac. I have memories of having a "Happy Meal" and not feeling any happier :)
    All the best and happy writing.
    Gary

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  24. Ah, the simple pleasure are the best. I hope you ate the whole darned box.

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    1. Hey Susan,
      Oh yes, the simple pleasures and the cheesy joy I experienced. Yep, I ate the whole darned box and I'm now picking cardboard out of my teeth :)

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    2. Hey Susan,
      Thanks and I love your sense of humour :)

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  25. Mac'n'cheese?
    Blech!
    I'll have my pasta with a bolognese sauce thanks. And home made too.

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    1. Hey River,
      Never tried "Blech!" :) Oh, trust me, I prefer home made, also. This posting was sort of symbolic of my youth :)
      Have a great weekend.
      Gary

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  26. How ironic; I'm waiting on noodles to boil so I can bake some. Yes, I make it from scratch! My godson's birthday (17) is this weekend; that's what he said he wanted from me!

    You had me laughing with the Cadbury side dish! Yuck!

    Too bad you didn't post a photo of you and Rob; that would have been a blast from the past, eh? Peach fuzz sideburns and all.

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    1. Hi Dixie,
      I wonder why we use the word "scratch" in reference to making something from the beginning. I'm going to scratch my head over that one :)
      I'm sure your godson is in for a tasty treat.
      If I could find some photos of those times, I would attempt to post them up. I'll have another look round.
      Hope you're recovering nicely from your unfortunate gardening accident.
      Kind wishes and some chocolate covered macaroni, your way, Gary :)

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  27. Hahaha! My son LOVES Kraft macaroni & cheese! I always have at least 5 boxes in my pantry. It was the first thing he ever learned to cook when he was about 14. Isn't it funny how little things like this take us back to simpler, happier times? I remember when my husband (then my boyfriend) used to spend the early evenings in the kitchen, making cheap meals we could barely afford. That's when we really got know each other. We were so pitifully poor, but so very happy. Now, things are so much more complicated.

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    1. Hi Nancy,
      You got it! Indeed, even though I went and bought the alternative to Kraft macaroni dinners, it was more the symbolism and the memories of those times when we struggled, we were poor, yet somehow, happiness prevailed in those simpler times.
      Thank you for sharing your memories, Nancy. Your comment was spot on! Have a great weekend in the beautiful Pacific North West.
      In kindness, Gary :)

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  28. Replies
    1. Hey there, Ghost Hunting Theories,
      So, are you referring to your photo icon? Was there something bordering on an innuendo in my article? Oh my, look what he's doing with the cheese sauce....
      Have an erotic weekend :)

      Delete
  29. Oh, the Kraft mac and cheese magic! It will forever have a place in my heart and cupboards. Back then, I think it was maybe 15 cents or so a box. Throw in some veg and ground beef and tah-dah! a complete balanced meal.

    I hope you and Pink Floyd enjoyed the night.

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    1. Hey Susan Kane,
      The mac and cheese dinners sure do bring back some memories and it is symbolic of those earlier times.
      I ended up on the dark side of the moon :)
      Thanks Susan.

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  30. Your post just made me realize something: we were all in the same boat back in the early 70's, but we eventually moved out of the boat and sank or swam. Now, there's no incentive to move beyond the macaroni point. There are too many helping hands and too many programs to do it for the macaroni generation.

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    1. Hi lotta joy,
      I sort of understand what you mean and indeed this posting was representative of the resourcefulness we used back in the 70's. Although, with the plight of many of the youth these days, trying to work, to gain independence, as my son so desperately craves, the 'helping hands' have gone and they've stolen the 'macaroni'.
      Take care and thank you for interacting.
      With respect, Gary

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  31. I avoid everything by Kraft as they're planning to change the recipe of my favourite chocolate bar....dam them!!

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    1. Actually, now that the American based Kraft has bought out Cadbury, I dread to think they might start making chocolate as bad as it is over in North America.
      Have a good weekend, buddy.
      Gary

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  32. Yeah, I can see you with long hair and you and your friends eating good ol' mac and cheese. It's been said you were pretty hippy-ish or a downright hippy back then... which is cool. In a way, I wish I could have been but I was born too late.

    It's interesting how our lives begin after being out on our own. It was tough for me back then, too. It was nothing for me to survive on Ramen noodles or Mac n' Cheese. Being poor and young like that makes a man humble and hopefully, ready to really get out in the world and make it happen for themselves. I knew I was eager.

    You Mac N' Cheese story, which actually, is much more than just that- if somebody actually thinks about it It's a story of fond memories, even with obstacles you had to overcome. I relate. Take care, dude. P.S. I love "Dark side of The Moon", too.

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    1. Hey Kelly,
      Those were the days, dude. I was a hippy kinda' guy and I reckon that 'hippy' is a state of mind. Actually, I was a few years past the "summer of love". But, I've still got an urge to buy a Volkswagen van and stick flower decals on it :)
      It is interesting how we can look back on our first days of leaving home and relate to the symbolism of certain things we found precious. My friend, you got this posting. It wasn't just about the macaroni and cheese, it was about being resourceful in those early, scary yet exciting times. Buddy, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon:)
      Take care, Kelly.
      Peace and pasta, your way, Gary

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  33. What a fabulous find! And of course in more ways than one; your beloved (?) mac and cheese, and the flood of memories it brought you. Have you ever tried them with hotdogs sliced up in them? That's the only way I can stomach the mac and cheese myself. No kidding!
    Happy remembering....hey, do those flared pants still fit?!

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    1. Hey Kim,
      I was delighted to see that product, so symbolic of my youth, proudly displayed at my local supermarket. Oh yes, thanks for that memory. Indeed, I've had macaroni and cheese with sliced up hotdogs.
      Ah yes, those flared pats sorta' fit. Trouble is, I wear them and end up with a high-pitch voice:)
      Peace, pasta and hotdogs, your way, Gary

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  34. Gary, isn't it great how certain foods can bring back so many vivid memories? For me it's mini babybel. Whenever I eat it I think of running around with my brother, playing tennis in the street and snacking on the babybels.

    I'm not a fan of kraft but I can understand your joy in the memories well enough. Enjoy, my friend.

    I stopped eating Cadbury in protest when Hershey bought the company. So Kraft has it now? Looks like things are going in a downward spiral.

    Jai

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    1. Hi Jai,
      Food, like certain songs, can invoke such strong memories. And now you have the ad for Babybel playing in my head :)
      I'm not a fan of Kraft, as such. It really is more the symbolic nature that the particular product brought to mind.
      Kraft of America bought out Cadbury. It caused a lot of controversy and a lot of British folks worried about keeping their jobs at Cadbury.
      Take care and happy writing.
      Gary

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  35. That's weird...my comment didn't show up? I lived on mac and cheese in college. I'd mix it with canned soup instead of milk, or add mixed veg or even mix in tuna.

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    1. Hi Sharon,
      Aha, your comment did show up, after all :) I have done similar to you. I have mixed up pasta with a tin of Campbell's condensed soup without adding any milk or water to it. Quite enjoyed that.
      All the best and happy writing.
      Gary

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  36. It's interesting what memories will get attached to what things. Sounds like you have some good ones with macaroni and cheese. :)

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    1. Hi The Golden Eagle,
      Indeed, the mac and cheese was very much a reminder of those younger days when I first started out. Amazing how we can make such connections.
      Thank you and keep going with your terrific blog :)
      In kindness, Gary

      Delete
  37. My son just had his wisdom teeth pulled, and I couldn't wait for the excuse to whip up tuna casserole featuring your favorite magical treat! I would love to see pictures of you from back then! Julie

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    1. Hey Julie,
      Now that sounds like a plan. Tuna casserole is a favourite in this household. I shall have a look through some of my old photos and see what I can find. Hopefully, my ex wife hasn't burnt them all. I'm kidding...
      Thanks, Julie.
      In kindness, Gary :)

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  38. Hi Gary,

    So the grocery stores in Leek have finally entered the 21st century! How Krafty of the company to realize that their mac and cheesy product could potentially bring joy to the British! We have another boxed treat here called, "Annie's Mac and Cheese" The cheese comes yellow or white, and is all natural, organic or gluten free. I think you need to do a taste test.

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  39. Hey THE SNEE!
    The grocery stores in Leek have entered the 1970's :) I shall be looking out for Annie. I'm a 'gluten' for punishment...
    You should get your own brand, Rebecca. Macaroni and SNEEse dinners!
    Take care and have a peaceful Memorial Day.
    Gary

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I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.