University of Wisconsin macaroni and cheese
Nothing says Wisconsin like a four-cheese macaroni and cheese baked into a deep dish. Do you have a favorite football-watching recipe? Enter our tailgate challenge and send it to email@example.com.
I was born in a college football town (Go Big Blue!) and even though we moved away while I was a preschooler, our family has been branded with blue and gold forever. We still root for Michigan.Skip to next paragraph
Kendra Nordin is a staff editor and writer for the weekly print edition of the Monitor. She also produces Stir It Up!, a recipe blog for CSMonitor.com.
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When I was checking out the recipes in “Taste of the Town,” by ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge I was hoping to find a U of M recipe to test out. But the only Michigan reference in the cookbook was to Michigan State. No go.
So I went with plan B: The University of Wisconsin. We moved to Madison from Ann Arbor and even though we lived in Wisconsin longer than Michigan for some reason we never switched our allegiance. But I will admit two things: (1) “On Wisconsin” is a really catchy tune and (2) I do have a special place in my heart for the Badgers because, well, I met Bucky Badger.
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That’s right. Bucky Badger once strolled into my second grade classroom, waving like it was an everyday routine. Most of us were so overcome we froze in our spots. And then – you won’t believe this – he took off his enormous head and there was a man inside. Bucky was a real person! How could this be! And then the clincher: Bucky Badger was the son of our teacher! Our 7-year-old minds were blown for the rest of the day. And obviously I still think about this celebrity encounter.
Sure enough, “Taste of the Town” includes a recipe for macaroni and cheese from Avenue Bar in Madison, which apparently is a popular hangout among the college kids and football players.
The Avenue Bar recipe is as over the top as anything you might expect from The Cheese State. It has 7 cups of cheese in a serving for four people. Let that sink in a bit. I’m assuming they mean four really hungry football players because after one scoop of this decadent, cheesy mustard-flavored pasta dish topped with buttery panko bread crumbs you’ll need to lie down for an hour, which makes it a perfect football-watching meal when you’ve gathered a crowd in your living room to root on your favorite team.
I may wear blue and gold on game days, but Bucky, my heart belongs to you.