An Open Letter To Margaret Of Nanny Goats In Panties®

Dear Margaret,

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Been feeling kind of apathetic, really. Tonight I read something, however, that has completely changed all that. Tonight I read something so horrifying, so singularly and utterly dismaying, I am left trembling with the same sickening shock I felt the first time I heard that song by Opus, Live is Life (lala la lala).

live is life

Oh. The. Humanity.

What did I read that was so appalling? I read your most recent post, Margaret, of Nanny Goats In Panties®. I read your open letter to Kraft Foods, pleading with them to come up with a gluten-free version of Kraft Dinner.

Now, why would an otherwise intelligent humour writer do that? Just because your husband is allergic to gluten and you cannot live without the disgusting orange powder in an hermetically sealed envelope that they call cheese is no reason to beg like Jepeto in a liquor store.

I left a comment, of course. But as I was writing, I realized I had a lot more to say. So here is my comment again, unedited.

Funny, funny Margaret. You did make me laugh with this line:

“And who in their right mind makes macaroni and cheese from scratch? Amish people, that’s who.”

I’m not Amish. I’m also not in my right mind. But that is besides the point.

What is the point, you ask? Kraft Dinner is NOT cheese! Remember Agent Orange? Coincidence? I think not! May as well mix up some Draino with milk and butter and call it “cheese”. I say again, it’s NOT cheese!! You can add vegetables to it and it is still NOT cheese. *This* is cheese:

Notice the lack of orange powder?

You may call me a cheese snob, but Kraft Dinner does not compare to real macaroni and cheese. I say to you, I may be a cheese snob, madame, but that orange powdered crap is NOT cheese. Chalk dust? Possibly. Cheese? Not even close! Here is another example of cheese:

See? No hermetically sealed envelope. Just transparent cling wrap so you can see the cheesy goodness inside. And again, no orange powder.

I challenge you, Margaret. Boil up your gluten-free pasta. Put it in a colander to drain. Rinse the pot you boiled the pasta in. Put 2 tablespoons of butter in it. Over medium heat, sauté some minced onion and garlic in the butter. If that’s too much work, sauté some garlic salt and dehydrated onion flakes instead. Lower the heat and add 1 cup of cream cheese or Brie or Camembert or even a mix of all 3.  Add some salt, pepper and any other spices you like. If you fry up some bacon before hand, you can crumble it in there too. Stir for about 5 minutes or so, until the cheese is saucy. You might want to add a little milk if it is too thick. Dump the pasta back in the pot. Stir until the pasta is coated. All told, takes about 20 minutes.

Then eat it. Then tell me it is not better than Kraft Dinner. I dare you.

Now, you know I love you, Margaret. You know I do and I have for eons. I love your writing and I love your sense of humour and  how you turned me into a Twinkie ‘ho. I even love when you call me Nick (which nobody else is allowed to do). But I must say, this latest post of yours has me questioning our relationship.

It’s like I never really knew you at all. Sigh. It’s like you’re just some chick I read about on page 43 of Inside Arden. Next thing you know, you’ll be telling me you really prefer Sno Balls.

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  • Nicky, this is sofa king hilarious. I cannot even type. I read Margaret’s letter earlier today – and it was also extremely funny. So, thank you and her, for brightening my otherwise awful day.

    PS: I really wish I could conjure up a better comment for this fab post.

  • Seriously Nicky, I have met Margaret and love her.  But this is also making me question if I ever really knew her at all.  That nasty Kraft stuff is well just disgusting.  Orange powder being called cheese?  I mean, really?  I adore good cheese.  I am not a fan of orange powder at all.  Mac and Cheese is not hard to do.  Orange powder is hard to stomach.  It’s dyed chemicals.  Why would she eat dyed chemicals?  For goodness sake, Margaret!  Listen to Nicky!  Listen to your stomach!  It wants cheese.  It does not want orange powder!

  • It is quite possible that Margaret, like me, was abused as a child.  My mother refused to buy the powdered stuff like all the other kids got.  We were forced to eat home-made mac and cheese for years.  Because of this abuse when I turned 18 I turned into a powdered mac and cheese ho, but guess what?  Now that I have kids I refuse to buy that nasty stuff and I force them to eat real  mac and cheese – and the circle of abuse continues. . . . 

  • Dear Cheese Woman: you have thrown down your glove and I accept your challenge. I will make my gluten free pasta and follow your recipe thinly disguised as an open letter to my open letter and I will report back to you. It is only because you work for cheese and I love you right back. Sheila is right. I was abused as a child. I was raised on boxed and canned food. And it wasn’t even Kraft. It was generic and cheaper and…and….oh I feel another blog post coming…

  • I was indeed abused as a child. But I didn’t step down to Kraft like you did in rebellion. I stepped UP by going to Kraft. Man, the more I think about this, the more I really do have another blog post for this.

  • Linda – I’m telling you. Kraft was an improvement on my childhood. I never grew up on homemade anything. That’s right. I blame my childhood on my penchant for boxed food.

  • I was shocked, I tell you. Shocked!  Surely the Margaret I thought had a discerning palette wouldn’t prefer powdered chemicals, disguised as cheese, over ACTUAL cheese?  She would?  My flabber is ghasted!

    My recipe is different to yours Nicky, but just as quick and made with real cheese!

  • Pingback: An Open Letter to Kraft Foods, Inc. | Nanny Goats in Panties()

  • Margaret, I grew up on Swanson’s TV Dinners and Fish Sticks on Friday.  I didn’t learn to cook until I was i my 30’s and a boyfriend taught me.  Go find a boyfriend and let him teach you.  I’m sure your husband won’t mind.

  • I’m having acid flashbacks to my 20s when Kraft Mac & Cheese was only 20 cents a box.  I was stoned.  We ate anything.

  • Babs, it’s taken me hours to recover from the shock. Hours, I tell you! My plussed was non. Ok, that wasn’t as good as your flabber being gasted. I love that, btw. I may just steal it from time to time!

    That is not the only recipe I have for mac-n-cheese, but it is by far the easiest!

  • Oh oh, you went from calling me Nick to calling me Cheese Woman…it is officially our first spat! Can’t wait for the make-up blogging 🙂 And yay! I can’t wait to read about how much better my mac-n-cheese is compared to that orange chemical stuff and its even more disgusting generic cousin! 🙂

  • We never got Kraft Dinner when I was a kid either. I think I was about 16 the first time I tried it, over at a friend’s house, and I thought it was disgusting! I never made it for my kids either, and they constantly bemoan the fact they are deprived children. I don’t care. I will not end the cycle of abuse!!

  • I also used to make a lovely thick cheese sauce (Using a little cornflour to thicken), keep it in a large tub in the fridge and when I felt like a tasty snack I’d spread it on toast and grill it. DELICIOUS!

  • That sounds like a tragic tale. It can have a happy ending, though, if you just follow the recipe above… 🙂

  • I didn’t realize you had met Margaret. Damn! Two of my favourite bloggers together in one room. Sigh.

    Orange powder is NOT cheese. Neither is yellow powder, or white powder or rainbow coloured powder. Powder is powder, cheese is cheese and never the two shall meet!!

  • I’m glad we could brighten your day, sweet thing. You know I’m thinking of you. And don’t you worry about your comments. They always make me smile! 🙂

  • At least you have the justifiable “munchies” defense. And the fact that it was only 20 cents a box. Man, you can’t get ANYTHING for 20 cents anymore. Seriously, I’m wracking my brains, trying to think of 1 single thing you can buy today for 20 cents and I can’t.

  • xoxoxo

  • Sweetie, that’s because you’re not as fucking ancient as I am.  And yes, there really were nickle candy bars and they were twice as big.  

  • Lori

    All I can say is, Who is Jepeto and why is he in a liquor store?

  • I read Margaret’s post and then Nicky aka “the Cheese Woman” rebuttal. I got to say…this banter is hysterical. Now a fact which might taint my view. I can’t eat that Kraft crap and I’m not a good cook so I might have to find a nice Amish family to get me the real McCoy. Thanks for the laugh you two funny ladies!

  • I totally drooled all over my computer reading both of these posts.  The worst part?  ” beg like Jepeto in a liquor store” that sums up me.  I should start a partner blog, Will Beg for Wine.  Sigh.  Speaking of, where did I put that bottle?

  • Welcome Lori! Jepeto is my other half (but definitely not my better half!!) and you can find out all about him if you click on our archives page and choose the category “Guest Bloggers”. Read any one of his posts and my comment will definitely be explained 🙂

  • Glad you enjoyed Annie! You score some major points for finding us funny and for hating Kraft Dinner. I’m not going to deduct points for your lack of culinary skills, since you more than make up for it with your awesome writing skills 🙂

  • I think Jepeto swiped the bottle while you were typing up your comment. 🙂

  • Hey, for one thing, you’re not ancient! For another, I was definitely around when you were in your 20s, and I remember 5 and Dime stores and chocolate bars the size of bricks that only cost a dime.

  • Me too! Except I use flour instead of cornstarch 🙂

  • I think those must have been your mother’s memories when she was carrying you in her womb.

  • Gotta say, I too, was amazed.  I have a quick and easy recipe for mac & cheese.  Mine is a two-step process in which I put the pasta with the cheese sauce, then top with bread crumbs and parm and bake for 30 min.  Yum!

  • We do the same, though we top with more shredded cheese 🙂 Would you believe I’ve got that very thing for dinner tonight?

  • I just read Maggie’s…can I call Margaret Maggie? Whatever. I just read HER comment, and I have to defend her in that I grew up on the Kraft shit too and I do believe I was abused as a child too. And although I won’t write a letter to you NickIE…I don’t feel we’re close enough to shorten your name to Nick, but should you write a letter dedicated to me, I just might, I have to say, cutting and chopping and frying bacon…sigh…why don’t you just milk the damn cow while you’re at it. Let’s just ban macaroni and cheese and be done with this controversial blog topic.

  • Oh Sandy (you don’t mind that I call you Sandy, right?) I’m sorry you were a deprived child but what truly cuts me to the quick is how you don’t feel like we’re close enough for you to call me Nick because I really feel close enough to you to tell you not to call me Nick 🙂

    Hey, I did offer alternatives to cutting and chopping and said the bacon was optional. We can’t ban mac-n-cheese! It’s too damn good.

    Also, you slay me 🙂

  • And YOU slay ME! Your comments at my blog are funnier than my stupid posts! I heart you!

  • Okay at first I was all behind you because I was sure you were going to talk about the travesty that would surely be Gluten Free Kraft Mac and Cheese (that’s what we call it down here, not Kraft Dinner like you and the Bare Naked Ladies do in that song about having tons of money (God, that has always bugged me, almost as much as when John Cougar says “I need a lover THAT won’t drive me crazy”)) but then you went all cheese snob on me and you lost me. You can not (cannot? thanks Kelly for messing that one up for me) dis the Kraft Mac & Cheese because there is nothing as yummy and as comforting as the orange cheesy wonder that is Kraft Mac & Cheese. 

  • Seriously, it’s not called Kraft Dinner. Wait, is it one of those things where they change the name because it’s in a foreign country and you guys wouldn’t understand the real name? You have to post a picture of Canadian Mac&Cheese.

  • Seems you beat me to it 🙂

  • As YOU pointed out in your post, Kraft was originally Canadian so the original name was KRAFT DINNER! 🙂

  • Nat

    I cannot lie. I read margarets letter and was super happy thinking someone else was fighting to good fight. I also, am allergic to wheat. I make my own Mac and cheese all the time, its a comfort food. I love it. In fact, as a child we were never given Kraft Dinner (yes, I am Canadian) because my mom can’t stand it. However, ever now and again I get a craving for that electric orange, doesn’t even taste like cheese, substance over some noodles. Not having had it for years now, I would almost commit a felony for some. My point is; why can’t we just agree that KD and Mac and Cheese are two different things, yet they both deserve a place in our hearts.
    Sincerely. Natalie.


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