Sumo Wrestlers Coming To Dinner?

I have a new favorite TV infomercial.

I don’t even know the name of the product, but it’s something that you put under the seat cushions on your sofa or chair to keep the springs from sagging. Upon my initial viewing, it caught my attention because we have a couple of slipper chairs, which originally belonged to my Grandmother Margaret, that have a severe sagging problem. I quickly realized, however, that this product was not the answer, since the cushions are firmly attached to the chair.

But the infomercial became my new favorite due to the part in which two sumo wrestlers sit on the couch to demonstrate the strength of the product. Sure enough, the springs don’t sag under the weight of these two behemoths. Heck, the cushions barely move despite their great bulk. Wow. I might consider buying this product if I was expecting sumo wrestler house guests.

Previously, my favorite infomercial was for Pajama Jeans. Not that I was tempted to buy a pair, but I just like saying Pajama Jeans.

Pajama Jeans. Pajama Jeans. Pajama Jeans. Tee hee hee hee.

I don’t make a habit of investing in infomercial products, although I do occasionally succumb to the commercial spiel. Most recently, I was compelled to buy one of those plastic microwave pasta cookers, not because I really needed it, but because a cute 6-year-old was peddling such stuff for school. The gadget works pretty well, when I read the directions. I just need to remember the lid doesn’t go on until the water needs to be strained off. Cooking with the lid on results in a mess all over the microwave.

But it would have come in handy — if I’d remembered to use it — for my trial of this slow cooker macaroni and cheese recipe, which came from the files of one of my favorite TV cooks, Paula Deen. I would caution others who try this recipe to keep the cooker on its low setting. I got impatient and turned it up to high, resulting in some curdling of the cheese-egg mixture, which detracted from the creamy texture.

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Cook 2 cups elbow macaroni according to package directions; drain.

In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter with 2½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, stirring constantly.

In a slow cooker, combine the butter-cheese mixture with ½ cup sour cream, one 10¾-ounce can condensed cheddar cheese soup, 1 cup whole milk, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon dry mustard and ½ teaspoon pepper; stir well. Add 3 eggs, beaten. Add drained macaroni and stir again.

Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

 Apologies to any online readers of my Area Voices blog, I haven’t been lax in my posting — due to technical difficulties, I haven’t been able to access the site. But the computer techies finally granted me access last night, so Lagniappe will resume once again with this entry. Here’s a recipe that I intended to post prior to Easter, but was thwarted in the attempt.

Asparagus Bake

Steam 2½ pounds asparagus until crisp-tender; drain and place in a buttered shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with diced red pepper or pimento (optional).

In a saucepan, combine ½ cup milk, 3 ounces cream cheese and ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese; heat through, stirring constantly until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Pour sauce over asparagus.

Combine 1 tablespoon melted butter with 3 tablespoons bread crumbs and ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese; mix well and sprinkle over top of sauce.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.