Agnes at the End of the World is a story about the power of hope and faith to help us surmount impossible odds. Agnes begins her journey as the victim of a fundamentalist cult based in northern Arizona, where medicine and contact with Outsiders are strictly forbidden. But Agnes’s younger brother, Ezekiel, has type 1 diabetes. He’ll die if they stay.
Ezekiel LOVES macaroni and cheese. While traipsing through the desert during the raging pandemic, the characters eat Kraft’s straight off the cookstove. You can eat boxed mac and cheese if you love it or try this homemade recipe.
Alternatively, you can serve up this low-carb cauliflower mac and cheese. In the book, Zeke and Agnes are still just learning how to manage his carbs and blood sugar. I like to think that one day, sometime after their adventure is over, they try out this cauliflower macaroni recipe. Of course, people with type 1 diabetes can eat anything they want with some planning! So feel free to pick whichever entree you like!
Homemade Mac and Cheese
A recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese, inspired by Kelly McWilliams's AGNES AT THE END OF THE WORLD. Recipe courtesy Donna Skinner.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound large elbow macaroni
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Goya Adobo Seasoning with Pepper, divided (see note)
- 4/12- 6 cups Cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
Preheat oven to 400 °F. Oil a 2 quart baking dish with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add macaroni, and cook for 1/2 of the time indicated. Drain, and toss with remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
In a small bowl, Whisk flour with ½ cup of the milk. Add remaining milk, beaten egg, and ½ teaspoon Adobo seasoning. Stir to combine.
Layer 1/3 of macaroni in baking dish. Top with 1½ – 2 cups cheese, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon Adobo seasoning. Repeat for two more layers.
Pour milk /egg mixture over macaroni and cheese. Top with butter.
Cover casserole and bake for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 15 minutes, or until top browns. Serve warm.
Note: To make homemade Adobo seasoning: whisk together 3 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 1/2 tablespoons salt, 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
A recipe for cauliflower mac and cheese, inspired by Kelly McWilliams's AGNES AT THE END OF THE WORLD.
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 1/4 cups shredded cheese, such as Cheddar or Monterey Jack
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower and boil for 5 minutes. Drain cauliflower and remove to a bowl.
Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Whisk in the cream cheese, continuously whisking until smooth.
Stir in Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add drained cauliflower to saucepan with cheese sauce, and stir. Serve immediately.