I made my mother’s baked mac-and-cheese recipe for Thanksgiving. It was more stressful than I imagined.

I made my mom’s mac-and-cheese recipe for ThanksgivingAlexis Hampton

This year, I was entrusted with the task of making my mom’s mac-and-cheese recipe for Thanksgiving.

The most important step is seasoning everything from the pasta to the cheese sauce.

Even though it was stressful, I had fun making it and I was proud of myself for carrying on a family tradition.

Though it’s not exclusive to the culture, mac-and-cheese is a staple in the Black community. The history of the dish in the US goes all the way back to the 1780s when Thomas Jefferson brought the recipe back after trying a version during a trip to Europe. However, it is believed that his chef de cuisine James Hemings, who was enslaved by Jefferson, was the one who learned how to cook the dish the French way and became one of the first people to make the dish in America. Today it can be found at just about every Black community and family function.

Not everybody is allowed to make the mac-and-cheese for a family gathering, so being entrusted with the task of making it for Thanksgiving was nerve-wracking.

My mom has always been the one to make it for the holidays, but this year she let me give it a go. I was determined not to disappoint.

I pushed my shopping to the last minute and found that stores were out of ingredients I needed.

Each ingredient plays an important role in the dish.Alexis Hampton

Cooking in many Black families, including mine, is typically based on “feeling,” so the measurements below are based on guesstimates.

Substitutions are not ideal. You can try variations, but the recipe may not taste the same.

For this recipe, you’ll need:

1 box of pasta of your choice

1  1/2 cups of milk

4 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp of all-purpose flour

2 cups of freshly shredded Sargento extra sharp cheddar

1 cup of freshly shredded Sargento colby jack

1/2 cup of freshly shredded Sargento mozzarella

2 tbsp of Malher chicken-flavored bouillon

1 tsp of Frank’s hot sauce

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

paprika (to taste)

garlic powder (to…

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