Ok, this makes me sad. I’m a huge macaroni and cheese aficionado; seriously, I’ll eat it almost any time it’s on a menu, and almost descended into clinical depression when one of my favorite local restaurants took its mac and cheese with chorizo off the menu. Imagine how happy I was, then, when the venerated New York Times published a “Crusty Macaroni and Cheese” recipe two weeks ago, alongside an accompanying article that went into a lengthy discussion of how hard a good, homemade mac and cheese is, and how the included recipe managed to make it a lot easier by not using white sauce (the mixture of butter, flour, and milk that helps the cheese achieve a melted, smooth, and gooey state). I printed the recipe and put it aside, intending to give it a whirl in the coming weeks.

Apparently, I’m not the only one that noticed the recipe; along with about a million webloggers, Slate’s Sara Dickerman found it, and was immediately suspicious of its no-white-sauce claims. She made the recipe twice, and got uniformly unsatisfactory results — “leathery shield” and “unpleasantly unctuous” were descriptions she applied to the concoctions she ended up with. That’s dissapointing… but a validation of the fact that there really is no way around putting a moderate amount of work into the perfect mac and cheese. Oh, well!