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Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti

nom nom nom

My kids like this ridiculously expensive macaroni and cheese. See how I blame them? But who bought it for them the first time? Who enabled this preference for mac-a-chee that costs three times more than the blue box stuff with the nuclear Velveeta powder that I was raised on? That’s right. Me.

But but but, I say.
But it is ORGANIC!
But the sauce powder is made of real actual FOOD CHEESE instead of the same stuff that seems to coat Cheetos.
But the real actual FOOD CHEESE is purchased from environmentally responsible farmers.

He is Bernie, the Rabbit of Approval, and as I look at his benevolent countenance, promising me all sorts of nutritive goodness and family-farmitude, I can fool myself that I am not giving my children a Box Dinner. When in fact, I am.

Granted, a box dinner they LOVE. A box dinner that is probably not harming, you know, EARTH. But still.

BUT they say all this stuff about sustainability and other crazy farm box style crap on their website that speaks directly to my wanna-be-microbiotic heart. And I believe them. Because, BERNIA. That rabbit is a very sincere rabbit.

NOT A DIGRESSION: One thing they say on that website makes me crazy. They say… “We at Annie’s believe that there’s something reassuring about knowing what’s in your food and who it comes from. “ and I say, SUPER IDEA. But then they lose me—they say… “As nourishers…” and GAH my skin leaps off my body and tries to crawl away.


OH HOW I HATE the word nourish. It is one of those words that pretends to be all moopy and GOOPy and let’s-hold-hands-in-California, but it has sinister vowels. I shudder to hear that OOOOGLY ooo sound cosied up wrongfully by the r, and it ends in a noise that says we have to keep whatever vile crap this is SECRET.

Nourish belongs in sentences like, “The witch nourished the children until they were plump and succulent.” Cannibalism sentences. I feel having that awful word near BERNIE is wrongful and can only end in Hasenpfeffer. Very SINCERE Hasenpfeffer. But still. END NON DIGRESSION.

Since we love this thing (Scott and I find it to be delicious as well…), and it is easy, and we feel relatively good about eating it, of course the grocery store right by my house has decided to stop carrying it. The bad news is, we will have to stock up at the Publix.

The good news? They took it all off the shelves and dumped it in a shopping cart for 50 cents a box and hid the cart behind the soda machine where NO ONE BUT SAM found it. He showed me and Maisy, and the three of us picked out all the white cheddar ones and and I ran for the check-out, cackling like a madwoman who JUST WON SHOPPING.

I have a whole pantry shelf stocked with this now, and the kids and I have taken to calling it The Fitty Cent Annies. So, last night we were at boot camp till late and I said to Scott, “I am too tired to cook, let’s just go home and steam some green beans and whip up a box or two of Fitty Cent Annie’s.”

He got all quizzical: Box or two of WHAT?

Me: Fitty Cent Annie’s?

Scot: That sounds like a cocktail.

Me: Hmm. Yeah. You are right. Or no, it actually sounds more like a hooker.

Scott: It sounds like a cocktail named AFTER a hooker.

Me: No, no it sounds like a bar owned by a former hooker!

Scott: WINNER!

SO MAYBE —- and here is where I bring it all home and PROVE the digression-y sounding thing was actually me being on point—-MAYBE I need to ease up on the word-skeeve judgementalism.

I RAGE on people who use the word nourish improperly (and here we understand, “improperly” means “In a manner that does not denote the broiling and eating of teeny, pretty fairies as if they were crunchy popcorns”) and yet I am calling the treat dinner I feed my children something that, if you pause and actually listen to it, sounds like a cocktail or a hooker, or, best case, a syphilis-addled bar in a bad neighborhood owned by a not-quite-retired hooker who will ABSOLUTELY cut you if you get rowdy.

20 comments to Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti

  • JulieB

    If you ever come back to Illinois, I know where you can score some more Annies – but, alas, not at fitty cents.

  • Em

    And if you ever come back to Boston, I can teach you how to say nourish in a way that has only a vague r and no ooo sounds. Say it with me “Nuh-rish”. Is that better?

  • Carrie (in MN)

    If you come back to Minnesota, I can teach you to mix your fitty cent Annie’s with some tuna and call it “hotdish.” And hotdish sounds wholesome and not at all hooker-ish.

  • I think you should host a recipe contest for a cocktail called “50-cent Annie’s”. For realz.

  • Linda J

    I think blue box for lunch now sounds good at least it will get my mind off of the 12 inches plus of snow all over my (when it melts it will be flooded) front yard. The piles of it at walmart are taller than most suv’s. One week with no white stuff in the forcast almost has me giddy till I look out the window. Oh hum…

  • Brigitte

    A week with no snow in the forecast? Don’t think I’ll see that ’til April or May.

    “Nourish” forces me to picture whoever-is-being-nourished suckling at the teat. Which I didn’t really want to see. But now I’ve made you all see it, ha!

  • It also sounds like a band name. My best friend inexplicably calls it Arnie’s because that’s how her family likes to roll.

  • Beth R

    You say that like there’s something wrong with it! I think it sounds like a lovely dinner 🙂 Love that word-play!

  • Lulu

    Love the word lunacy tag!

    We’ve had that bunny for dinner at our house many, many times. (To us the brand name is “Annie Rabbit Pasta.”) We prefer the alfredo Annie Rabbit Pasta. Add some broccoli to boil with the pasta, and oh, it’s good. (Alfredo comes in smaller boxes, though. For your fambly of 4, you’d probably need 2 boxes for a side dish). Yummy stuff!

  • Yum! They make a whole-wheat macaroni, which no one else will do. Love Annie’s! (My kids also think it is the “rabbit-macaroni.” As opposed to the blue box “Toy Story Macaroni,” “Extra-Cheesy,” etc. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks the stuff in the blue box suspiciously resembles the coating on Cheetos. To make it even better? If I make it, I add extra shredded cheese. My husband and daughter however, will shake extra “Sharp Cheddar” cheese powder from a Land O’Lakes plastic bottle to add extra CHEESE. Sheesh.

  • Zoe

    I SOOOOOO wanna live in your world…

  • Zoe

    Um…no. THAT didn’t sound creepy. AT ALL. *eye roll*

  • Renea

    ….I want to try this mac and cheese..love the part about Fitty Cent Annie’s? Joshlyn Jackson u get funnier every time I read your blog…need to check out my publix…

  • Christine in Los Angeles

    I agree with Renea, that each post is funnier than the last. Lying in brd, laughing at the laptop, what a life.

  • Christine in Los Angeles

    Dang, note to self: PROOFREAD – I’m in bed, not in a bird.
    God blrss

  • Jan in Norman, OK

    Big part of my thesis was about teaching young actors to make use of the sounds of words to support the meaning.

  • Lizzie G

    Why don’t you cook your own macaroni cheese? I am from Europe and have never seen this kind of pap.

  • Okay, I may have to break down and try the rabbit pasta again. I tried it once a few years ago after buying it from a bargain bin. It was nasty. It may have been expired. I should only trust Publix bargain bins. Lesson learned.

    In 12 years of marriage I’ve only managed to get my hubby to eat mac & cheese twice. The first time was at Paula Dean’s place. I think he would eat a tennis shoe in gravy if Paula made it for him. And Monday I made the new Kraft homestyle Italian. I dolled it up with sausage and peas and quickly hid the package at the bottom of the trash. He loved it. If I can get that man to eat tofu tacos I will convince him to like good old mac & cheese.

    And I agree, 50 Cent Annies would make an awesome band name. I can just see the torn fishnets now…

  • Krislin

    I am just going to have to stop reading your blog – I can’t go around with my mascara running:) Keep it comin’!

  • JoAnnabelle

    Useless tidbit – did you know they say Hasenpfeffer right before the theme to Laverne and Shirley starts? “…5, 6, 7, 8, Schlemiel, Schlemazzle, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated.” Whatever that means.