My Miscommunication Ruined A Seafood Mac and Cheese

Indirect instructions to friends made it uneatable

A.J. Bryant


fancy macaroni and cheese on a plate
Photo by Tina Witherspoon on Unsplash

I brought seafood macaroni and cheese to a ‘Friendsgiving.’ It was Instagram gorgeous. And then, it wasn’t.

I splurged. It had lump crab claw meat and two pounds of shrimp. I didn’t skimp on the cheeses either; smoked Gouda and Cheddar, Gruyere, all topped with parmesan butter breadcrumbs.

However, no one enjoyed it.

A series of missteps in hindsight and communication blunders led to an inedible dish.

My wife, Sasmita had a five-hour PRAXIS education exam. That meant that me and the kids needed to be out of our apartment. She needs silence for concentration. And with two kids under seven, that’s impossible if they’re underfoot.

The test began at 1 p.m. But the dinner party began at four p.m.

I texted the host the day before, explaining the situation. I asked permission to drop the mac and cheese off early. I would be with the kids for three hours and didn’t want the casserole sloshing around on my car’s floor.

Here are the mistakes that led to its unappetizing end.

Mistake one: After pulling the casserole out of the oven, I discarded the foil covering the disposable 9 x 13 pan. I covered it on a cookie sheet with its plastic top.

Mistake two: When I arrived at the host, he specifically asked for instructions. With two clamoring kids in my car, I wasn’t thinking straight. I told him ‘It just came out of the oven and it’s really hot.’

He asked if they should keep it warm, and I told him yes.

Mistake three: We came back to the house at 4 p.m. I was looking for my mac and cheese on the counter.

I saw instead, that it was uncovered and in the oven at 200 degrees.

The perfectly delectable shrimp that dotted the top were now dark brown and rock hard. The creamy, gooey cheese was absent.

Mistake four: I should have removed the mac and cheese and put it on the countertop. I could have asked for tin foil and covered it myself.



A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, and contemporary India. Prawns are my love language.