Native-style mac and cheese.

Native-style mac and cheese.

By Emilie Corbiere

With winter on its way out the door, so goes my favourite comfort foods. Dishes such as beef or moose meat stew, big pots of soup and one of my favourites is the macaroni with cheese, tomatoes and bacon and or bologna. My mom and aunties used to make this while I was growing up and to this day I still love it so much. It’s funny how certain foods can trigger such strong memories of closeness and love in a family.

Back in the mid 1970’s, most native families lived in poverty or low income, whether you lived on or off reserve. I can only imagine now as an adult what a struggle it must have been for my aunt who was trying to raise and feed 6 or 7 kids at a time.

For this recipe, the food was not that expensive, back then bologna, Velveeta and pasta were quite affordable. Over the years I’ve changed the recipe to suit my tastes and I’ve switched the bologna for bacon and the Velveeta cheese for regular cheese slices. And of course you can’t forget the side of fry bread, yummy.  Here’s the recipe for my native-style mac and cheese. Enjoy.

Native style Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

2 cups of pasta, elbow or shell

1 can of diced tomatoes

8 slices of processed cheese or Velveeta cheese

6-8 slices of bacon/salt pork/bologna, your choice

Directions:

Add the pasta to 4-5 cups of boiling water, boil halfway through and then add to a baking dish, add the tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Cover with the cheese slices and top it off with the slices of meat. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden and the meat is cooked.