Great Grandma's Macaroni — a recipe and a story from The Reigning Sound's Greg Cartwright

Come On In My Kitchen
by Greg Cartwright of the Reigning Sound

originally published in Arthur No. 11 (July 2004)

Greg Cartwright is one of American rock ‘n’ roll’s great undersung heroes, a veteran of legendary Memphis grease-rock outfits the Oblivians and the Compulsive Gamblers. Too Much Guitar!,the career-highlight new album by his latest band, The Reigning Sound, is reviewed by C & D in this issue; the band will be touring with the Hives across North America later this summer.

About nine years ago, while I was touring in Spain, I met an American girl who happened to be there on vacation. Conversation led to the fact that we were both looking for The Revlons’ “The Way You Touch My Hand” single. The stars were lining up but the van was leaving. Almost a year later I met her again in New York and I wound up staying at her apartment for three days. On the third day we decided to stay in because we knew it was our last night together. I said, “Let’s cook something.” She said, “I only know how to cook one thing.” She called it “Great Grandma’s Macaroni.” Was it good? I married her, didn’t I? Here goes:

1. Boil 1 package of macaroni noodles.
2. Put them in a casserole dish and mix in one small can of tomato sauce.
3. Chop up half a sweet vidalia (yellow) onion and mix it in too.
4. Add a pinch of thyme, a little oregano and salt & pepper to your taste.
5. Mix it all up good and spread a nice thick layer of shredded cheddar across the top.
6. Bake at 375 degrees about 20 minutes, or until the cheese starts to turn golden brown.

My only addition to this recipe over the last seven years has been to add a pound of seasoned ground beef in place of step 4. Thanks to Esther’s great grandma for the recipe!

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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.

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