Dustin's Mac and Cheese

Today, the anniversary of the drunk and drugged driving crash that killed my son Dustin, my husband and I will celebrate his life and laughter by eating his favorite meals and doing the things he enjoyed.

In the morning, we will have his favorite breakfast: veal loaf and scrambled eggs with orange juice (thinly sliced and cube veal loaf cooked in frying pan with a little butter, when slightly browned we will add up to 6 eggs whipped and pour into fry pan). Our conversation over our orange juice and coffee will be about how much we miss him and his smile, as well as the goofy things he did and said.

For dinner we will have Dustin’s mac and cheese. Growing up, Dustin would make his own mac and cheese and used practically every pan and bowl in the kitchen to make it. I remember a time when he called me at work and asked where a certain pan was – it was his favorite to cook the mac and cheese in – only to be disappointed that the pan was replaced by a new one.

Dustin’s mac & cheese (as best as I can remember):

  • ¾ box of elbow macaroni
  • 8 ounces or MORE of Velveeta cheese cubed
  • 1 cup of milk or cream
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

He would boil the macaroni in a pan (1st bowl), melt the cheese in another pan (2nd bowl) measure the milk (3rd bowl) and ready bread crumbs to place on top in a big casserole dish (4th bowl). He would then mix it all together in a 5th bowl, then spread it all into casserole dish (eating the mac and cheese along the way) and finally put it in the oven for a short baking time to get it crusty on top.

Sometimes he would slice a boiled hotdog into the cheese and mac dish for some fun. And occasionally, I would talk him into putting chopped broccoli or cooked bacon in it.

Then, after our mac and cheese dinner, we will go to the cemetery to clean and decorate his memorial stone and think of what could have been...

Sharing a recipe of a loved one is one way to keep their memory alive. Which is why I’m so fond of MADD’s new “You Always Have A Place” Victim Tribute Recipe Book.  Sharing some of the dishes that always put a smile on their face is a great way to feel our loved ones here with us.

Visit madd.org/recipebook to download a free digital copy. And if you would like to submit a recipe for the next edition of the recipe book, click here to submit your recipe by July 22.