5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Pasta Dishes, Unusual Mascots and Jesus’ Status

photo credit: Carmyarmyofme via photopin cc

Food’s never far from the kids’ minds. Where do they get that?

The crown jewel of dinner tonight wasn’t the lightly-breaded chicken breast, or the steamed vegetable medley, or even the store-brand root beer. It was the mac and cheese – the creamy, gooey kind that uses the sauce, not the powder, to make the noodles cheesy.

Why didn’t I think of this – combining pasta and cheese (and artificial colors like mac-and-cheese orange) to produce a crowd-pleasing side so cheesy it often steals the show from the entree?

Who thought of this heavenly dish, anyway?

My first guess is Jesus. Or, his wife.

Mac and cheese’s origin was only one of a handful of questions I fielded from the kids this week.

1. Who invented macaroni and cheese?

I’ve often thought this was the third menu item on the list for the Gods, right after ambrosia and honey.

Greeks might have had the market on ambrosia, bur the Romans – well, the Italians, at least – get credit for the first mac and cheese. A 13th-century Italian recipe book included “de lasanis,” which includes sheets of pasta cut into 2-inch squares.

Thomas Jefferson loved the stuff, and first served it in the White House in 1802. My guess is it was a pretty good caserole-looking mac and cheese, too. Mmm.

2. Why did that man eat 28 raw eggs?

My guess is to make headlines. And he did. With his death.

No 20-year-old should go this way. Heck, no 40-year-old either. Poor Dhaou Fatnassi, a 20-year-old Tunisian, was just two eggs short of downing 30 raw when he collapsed. Seems he had a bet with a mate on 30 eggs. I wish he’d opted to have them in an omelette the size of a surf board instead of all salmonella flavored.

What his story tells me is that I’m probably safe eating a half cup of raw cookie dough, which is way under the equivalent of a half cup of cookie dough I “sample” to make sure everything’s good.

3. What is a Sooner?

The University of Oklahoma’s mascot is a one-of-a-kind – but then again, there’s only two schools whose teams are called “Catamounts,” too.

The “Sooner” name has Civil War-era roots and good connotations. Sooners were those allowed to stake claims on land in the Old West. Sooners are said to be those who move out ahead of the pace. They’re ambitious, competent, and have that “can do” spirit that epitomizes the West – unless they’re losing to Boise State in a Fiesta Bowl or something.

I was a Sooner once. When Aunt Sandy got a job at the new Greeley Target, I got to go on family day to stake out all the cool Star Wars figures I wanted before the general public! I’m pretty sure I walked away just with Klaatu in the deal. But, it was that pioneering spirit …

4. Why does the Redskins’ RGIII wear that sleeve?

Robert Griffin III throwing

Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins quarterback, has that rare dual action of cool and talent that really has all three of my girls’ attention. Grace even has his poster up next to her bed.

Maybe he reminds them of their dad.

Griffin wears a sleeve on his non-throwing arm. Perplexing. Is he ambidextrous, and keeping the spare limb warmed up? Is he allergic to the FedEx Field turf? Is it just a cover up for bionic components?

Turns out, it’s for show. Griffin, in an interview with CBS Sports, cited flash-over-substance Hall of Famer Deion Sanders in saying “if you look good, you feel good, you play good.”

I thought the cool hair and silly little chin beard did that.

Turns out RGIII wears that sleeve for the same reason the San Diego Padres wear a glove on one hand – well, there is no real reason.

5. Was Jesus married?

You’d think someone would have designs on Jerusalem’s most eligible bachelor.

Being a carpenter’s son is one thing; being God’s son raised by a carpenter is something else altogether. TMZ reports Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ wife, and that they even had a kid. Outside of Davinci Code, however, a camel has a better chance of passing through the eye of a needle than you have of finding literal evidence of a Mrs. Christ.

Can you imagine, though?

He’d come home late from another late night of miracles and parables, to hear his wife say, “what, do you think you walk on water?”

She’d be ticked if he invited not just a buddy or two over, but ALL TWELVE DISCIPLES, again!

And think of that kid, too. I mean, it’s tough enough to be Ken Griffey Jr., Blanket Jackson, even Jeb Bush, but Jesus Jr.? As His coach, I’d want to play him in goal every game.

You know … for the saves.


  1. genext13 says:

    We have a community college here whose mascot is called the Artichokes.

    1. That’s awesome – I love mascots like that, not only for their uniqueness, but because just imagine what a team has to tell their friends and family after they play the Artichokes.

      “Did you guys win?”


      “Who beat you?”

      “The Artichokes.”

      It’s like you’re winning again every time they have to tell someone about it.

  2. rsrote says:

    some very interesting topics!! I to thought mac&cheese just fell down from heaven one day-it is heavenly with that extra creamy cheese!!! As for Ms. Jesus-or Jesus Jr-WOW those would be tough sandals to fill!!!

    1. There are some doozies down the pipe, too. I think the Italians invented the dish, but God sent the extra cheese personally. I’d like to think Jesus would be all New Testament in his fatherhood philosophy, but you never know … his dad was pretty strict in the New Testament.

  3. Ilene says:

    About Jesus being married – TMZ has pretty good sources, It’s kind of hard to doubt what they report as true…even on things that may have happened over 2 thousand years ago.

    I am using the 28 eggs-to-death story as living proof for my son that his plan to eat 50 hot dogs is NOT a good idea. I’m thinking it’s probably a bad idea to eat 28, 30, or 50 of anything – cooked or not.

  4. Well, back then, they didn’t have Twitter, so the word – I mean, the Word – had a hard time getting out.

    I feel like I missed my calling as a professional eater, so I can’t help you on that one. Only that I would eat things only fully cooked. Or reasonably so. I once came in second in a hamburger eating contest for arena football tickets – and I’d just eaten lunch.

    Did you know pro eaters are called “regurgitators”? It’s a true story.

  5. Letizia says:

    28 raw eggs….that is so disgusting!

    1. I’d rather stick with two, over easy, with warm tortillas.

      1. Letizia says:

        Sounds more reasonable! And delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. I call it the breakfast of champions. No matter what I write about, it always comes back to food.

  6. Mac and Cheese may have started with the Italians, but my kids thought it belonged just to them, and that no meal was complete without it, and that was in the days of powdered cheese. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Chris Carter says:

    Damn I just LOVE it when you post…cause I know I will be tickled down DEEP and always giggling at every single play on every single word you write. You are just THAT good. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was going to point out a bunch of great lines you have here…but every time I went up to copy them I found even more so I just couldn’t pick one from them all. You know my faves were all the witty word play on Jesus. You are SOOOOOO good.
    Jesus Jr? Mrs, Christ? All the saves? And on and on… I have to re-read your post a few times to get each and every word because you are that brilliant that I can miss a beat if I don’t focus REAL hard. If I wasn’t married…you know I would marry you in one flailing heartbeat!

    1. You’re too kind! I bank on the Prince of Peace having a sense of humor. If he does, I’m golden, and I’ll hangout with JC and Chris Farley in Heaven. If not … there’s probably a warm room a few stories lower for me and anyone with designs on marrying me!

  8. We were just wondering out loud at the dinner table where mac and cheese was invented. We thought by Italians, but didn’t bother to look it up. Thank you for this valuable post. Also, the last line is spectacular.

    1. I’ve got you covered! I’m sure Americans are the ones who dumped all this gooey cheese on it. God bless America!

      I’m here to serve. Wait to you see what other questions the kids have in reserve.

      Jesus would dig it, too.

  9. Rosey says:

    Macaroni & Cheese is higher on the list than honey (at least for me)…can’t say I’ve tried Ambrosia. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Honey’s OK, but it’s tough to top anything topped with cheese. Ambrosia is technically anything pleasant to taste or smell, which applies to mac and cheese.

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