A Reader Reports from the Kitchen: Steak and Mac and Cheese


What happens if you actually print out our recipes for steak and mac and cheese and take them to your kitchen? One Awl reader, a lass by the name of Amy, decided to find out while back on the homestead for Thanksgiving.


Amy writes:

“The fucking steak was really fucking spectacular. I got pics to prove it.

My friend’s mother took the ‘fundamentalist’ in Scocca’s mac & cheese literally: ‘What recipe told you to put in this much mac & cheese? It could feed a church!’ I didn’t bother trying not to laugh. Oh, small town Texas.

You guys didn’t warn us how hard shopping for this stuff could be: first time around we picked up mostly miscellaneous supplies for other projects, plus milk, and steak (holy fuck that fucking steak). I got distracted by two guys talking about Jews-in Nowhereville, Texas, a conversation that puts ‘some people think that they…’ in close proximity to ‘Jews’ is like a siren call to a girl from Jewtown, Maryland. Oh, the stories I’d heard. I only wanted to find out if they were true! Which I went about in a somewhat awkward manner. First they thought I was accusing them of antisemitism, then they thought maybe I was an antisemite, but once I told them I was Jewish they were quick to assure me that ‘we love Jews!’ Turns out they worshiped with Messianic traitor Jews (kidding: they can believe what they want, but don’t fucking call me not a good Jew for not knowing Hebrew when those are the people you’re hanging out with).

But they were nice, so far as someone who thinks you’re gonna go to hell unless you believe what they do can be.

We were stuck in traffic trying to ‘take the steak home’ as per Balk’s instructions when we noticed we’d forgotten the cheese.


On the second try, we got cheese plus a couple more things we’d forgotten. And then, back to my friend’s home, where I stared at the Star of David on a box of kosher salt for validation. (Look, I want to learn Hebrew. But not knowing it doesn’t make me a bad Jew and neither does questioning God’s existence.)


The fucking steak was excellent, by the way.


I’ve decided Scocca’s mac & cheese isn’t inherently fundamentalist, but it can definitely point that way if you’re… that type. The cheese ‘spoke to me’; I looked at the mounds of grated cheese in and around the bowl I had grated into, and decided that yes, we could use more. Which is how we ended up with a pound and a half of cheese swallowing a pound of macaroni. Given the amount, my friend’s mother’s guess that this was a church recipe was… understandable. It was all on faith, after all.


Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Well, I guess Tom Scocca is one of the gods after.)


But the steak. The FUCKING steak. If any level of deliciousness can prove the existence of the One True God… Balk, are you my Creator? (If you honestly don’t know, I will understand. A man like you has many preoccupations.)



Your Thankful Disciples,
The Nocturnal Jew and the Small Town Texas Violent Offender

PS: Would appreciate if The Awl ran an explanation of How To Clean Up a Fucking Kitchen. kthx.”

Our advice on kitchen-cleaning pretty much comes down to “hiring someone” or “feigning exhaustion while someone else handles it,” but we’ll look deeper for some other pro tips. And thanks, Amy! And best of luck on your next cholesterol test.