Visiting a college friend in New Haven, I was warmly welcomed both by her and co-host, Beau. Beau is a Papillon, (note the butterfly-shaped ears): he is also the only dog I know who spurns food. Weight Watchers would find him an excellent role model.
The friend and I, (Beau had a pass), had a food-and-culture-filled weekend starting with a performance of Pentecost, a three-and-a half hour play at the Yale School of Drama. Act I deals with when the Renaissance actually began as well as the pros and cons of art restoration; Act II introduces ideas about immigration. Not only is the work a bit overlong, there is no
Meryl among this group of students who haven’t learned to articulate and often intensify the problem by addressing the rear wall.
Some of the pottery currently on exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art is brilliant. Edmund de Waal, (of the Hare with the Amber Eyes fame), is represented as is an installation, Made in China, by Clare Twomey with eighty large red porcelain vases shown in the entrance and elsewhere in the building. Perhaps the Twomey installation is meant as a spoof? It comes off that way.
Onto the Yale Art Gallery across the street for two war-related photography exhibits that left me cold and a delightful small show of ancient glass that brought back memories of the glass museum in Zadar in Croatia. Zadar gets my nod but glass exhibited in New Haven comes minus jet lag.
Our culture caper ended with a concert of Evening Ragas in Yale’s glorious Battell Chapel, used today by Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and other groups for religious gatherings as well as for non-sectarian performances. The hypnotic music was courtesy of Rabindra Goswami on sitar and Ramchandra Pandid on tabla, both consummate artists. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz13DSCYhms
For the cheese-centric, a strong recommendation for Caesus, a cute spot serving lunch and dinner, catering and selling over one hundred cheeses and other fancy food, http://caseusnewhaven.com. If cheese isn’t your thing, the restaurant offers plenty of cheeseless (and gluten-free) options.
Because it’s a classic, here is;
Baked macaroni and cheese
8 ounces fusilli or other short pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, heated
1 bay leaf
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (you could, um, cheat here and buy it already shredded)
1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese (cheat here as well if you can find it)
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, and then drain the pasta. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk. Add the bay leaf, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick, 8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in 2 cups cheddar and the gruyere. Stir in the pasta and the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce. Butter a 2-quart baking dish; add the pasta mixture and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Bake 15 minutes.
Not quite as easy as from a package but a great deal better, no additives and a hit with all ages. Milk for the little ones; something stronger for you.