Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Macaroni cheese

Having read Cookiecrumb's and several other posts about macaroni cheese and also seeing her wonderful slide show (wish I could do slide shows) it reminded me that this is a dish Mike likes but one that I rarely make. So I decided today was the time to indulge him as I had quite a lot of cheese in the fridge to be used up. Second reason and probably more significant was the fact that I had not planned our evening meal and I had been on the phone for nearly three hours trying to sort out a few things which have been put on hold during the last ten days so I needed to do something quickly.

Does anyone find it difficult to resolve issues with a machine or if you're lucky a human voice over the phone and am I the only one who would like to be going back to the time when you could physically visit an office/ shop and speak face to face.

a) a problem with the electricity supplier, who was threatening me about not keeping to an agreement for monthly payment plan. I was puzzled by the letters because I pay a sum by standing order. I knew I was in credit so was not prepared to increase the monthly amount by £30 as they were suggesting. Well would you! that money is better in my pocket than their's. When I finally got to speak to 'a person' he could not tell me why I was being threatened he kept saying it was the computers fault. He then found out that I (so say owed £63:20) but he couldn't tell me why as he acknowledged I had always been in credit. I could tell he was was not happy at my insistance that I wanted an answer. He then said he wanted to speak to someone else (on hold again). This is the comical bit "the computer had sent the letter because I had not upped my monthly payments as had been suggested after they did a review of my (in credit) account. Are you still with me they were expecting me to pay the increase for past two months with administrative fees on an account that was in credit. Can you believe this. Then he wanted new meter readings which I gave him, he then put me on hold for ages while he worked out a prediction on what I might use next year and concluded that the amount I was paying did not need to be changed. I then decided to try and speak to a supervisor but no luck. The guy said I should to contact my bank and re-instate the monthly order which he said they had cancelled. I thought this was odd as I knew it was a standing order and I had certainly not cancelled the payment. But hey ho I called the bank (another wait for connection) to find that the order was still in place next payment due out tomorrow and bank confirmed that only I could alter the payment details. So I had never defaulted, which I already knew as you cannot default on something you have never agreed to in the first place. I would really love to change my electricity supplier but I don't have the energy. When my friend Tina tried to do this recently they suddenly accused her of being in arrears for over £2000 for electricity supply to a garage. She has lived in her house for over 20 years and there has never been a garage to the house. Eventually they discovered this was a neighbour's account. Again computer blamed; doesn't human error come into the equation or do computers operate themselves!!

b) next issue was renewal of my car insurance, I had a quote but my details needed changing as I no longer need business cover and will be doing less mileage. I was hoping this would give me a lower quote. Just as all the information was being fed into the computer the person on the phone line said her computer had crashed and she would call me back in 10 mins. Twenty five mins later I got the call, she was very aplogetic but had got the payment reduced by a few more pounds so that was a positive.

By now it was 5pm and I couldn't face c) making an insurance claim, so that's for another day.

I have totally digressed from the meal but I thought macaroni would be very quick as I managed to cook it while I was waiting for the call back. As hubby was due home anytime I knew I would not be able to add bacon and mushrooms (I know feeble excuse he could have waited) and it would have added a little extra something to the dish. So instead it was turned out to be very basic, however, the (good) pinch of cayenne gave the sauce a kick and the topping of grated cheese and (homemade) breadcrumbs worked well giving a nice crunchy topping.



At 10/1/07 08:29, Anonymous EmBee said...

Bacon and mushrooms would have made it a different dish and I expect very tasty, but this one was fisrt class anyway. Love.

At 10/1/07 09:41, Blogger ChrisB said...

glad it met with approval!!

At 10/1/07 14:14, Blogger Asha said...

Looks good.Every American kids dream dish this one,including mine!:D Enjoy Chris with your hubby.

At 10/1/07 15:50, Blogger Beccy said...

Looks good maybe I might try it.

At 10/1/07 17:32, Blogger ChrisB said...

Asha I never considered this a particular favourite of mine but I might just be changing my mind.

Beccy it's worth trying. Do you make your own breadcrumbs??

At 10/1/07 17:42, Blogger Beccy said...

Sometimes, but I can no problem.

At 10/1/07 20:32, Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Crunchy. Creamy. Looks like you nailed it.
(Much-needed comfort after a day dealing with bureaucracy.)

At 10/1/07 21:13, Blogger ChrisB said...

cookiecrumb you are sooo right.


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