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

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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.

🧀 Cheese Goes on Everything – Even Cheese

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They’re a cheesy bunch, my kids.

All three. Cheese goes on everything.

“Too much, daddy,” Elise would say as I grated it on top of her spaghetti or stuffed it in her burrito or slapped slices of it on her sandwich when she was little.

Translation: “heap it on, pop!”

These kids are the cheesiest. Cheese goes on cheese, even.

I mean, it’s dairy. It’s good for you. I love it too.

Broccoli and cheese

“That’s too much cheese.”

Nope, it just doesn’t feel natural coming off the fingers. Feels like a Rockies fan rooting for the dodgers. Un.natural.

It goes by quickly, a block of cheese. As I prepared a spaghetti dinner for my three cheeseavores, they surfaced constantly at the stove top, mouths agape, eyes googly, and the only way to fend them off was to drop another chunk of cheese in their hungry beaks, and watch your fingers.

By the time I’d grated the rest of the block to pile on their seashell noodles, I noticed something odd about the cheese wrapper: It was kid-ravaged empty.

“Girls,” I declared, holding the cheese carcass up to the light for inspection. “We just polished off an entire block of cheese.”

Cheers went up.

Not polite cheers, mind you. But the big, bad headlines kind of cheers. The Dewey beats Truman kind. Giants win the pennant. Stock market falls. Again.

They danced and celebrated over the defeated cheese block like Ewoks around C-3PO.

They danced and celebrated not only their victory over the cheese, but over the dad whose discipline more resembles Swiss cheese than Cheddar.

This sort of ravaging and mutiny could happen only on a dad’s watch.

It’s not easy being cheesy.