Thursday, February 3, 2011


Oops totally forgot about this blog. Well not completely, I just forget about it during appropriate hours. Hopefully I will quite forgetting.

So today we're havin' meatloaf and some Sunshine from the Oven. I was just telling Bet that my mom made meatloaf so often that she never needed to pull out the recipe. I only know that the basis for her meatloaf was Quaker Oats' Prizewinning Meatloaf because when I was a young girl wanting to help out it was this recipe that she pulled out of the drawer where she kept all her recipes: clippings, scraps of paper, recipe cards, magazine pull outs, Joy of Cooking, a particular casserole cook book with a recipe for Vim and Vigor soup written on the inside cover, and a few stray cookbooks of fair regard.

But the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, my mom "adjusted" recipes all the time and so do I. The trick is to knowing how and being able to swallowing your mistakes.

The original recipe calls for tomato juice, it is not an ingredient I have on hand. And as far as from Bethel's kitchen (Bethel is my mom by the way) it would more likely have been V-8 juice anyway and that right there my friend is a big flavor change up. So here goes Lanny's version:

To a pound of burger add
1/2 to 3/4 cup of rolled oats, you know it is difficult to buy exactly a pound of burger so adjust oats to suit (if you are using regular instead of quick cook up the liquid just a tad and let it sit before tossing it into the pan or even before you shove it in the oven.
1/4 cup of chopped onion - or just whack up a whole onion if it is about mediumish size, if you use a whole one of the giant softball size walla wallas or vidalias you'll have onion loaf instead, but if you've got a regular sized onion use it all, there ain't nothin' more difficult than hangin' on to half an onion in your frig.
1tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of fresh cracked pepper
1 cup of Tomato juice if you've got it. But if you don't don't stop, use half a little can of tomato paste, the balance in water to make a cup of liquid plus a good sturdy shot of lemon juice (hence a little less salt than the original recipe).
1 beaten egg

Feel free to toss in whatever herbs and spices you have a hankerin' for. You could make this with more of an Italian feel with Italianish spices, you could make it taste like sausage loaf if you put in sage and thyme sort of herbs, or heck even put a little sausage in it (we did that tonight, one mild Italian link from Costco). Or make it a steak house meat loaf and part of your liquid exchange could be A-1 or bbq or worchestestesire sauce.

Squish your final product together with your hands, there is no other way to do this, don't put latex medical gloves on, nobody wants to eat Dentist Chair Meatloaf tonight, get your hands slimy, I'm sure you washed them before you started and you can wash them later.

Bethel always made her's in a 9x13 pan (she cooked for eight so she doubled her recipe) not a loaf pan, it made the outter edges crispy and let the fat drain off, a bit. I put mine on a stone ware bar pan if I make two loafs or I put one loaf in a square cake pan (usually the stoneware one).

Mom always put two strips of bacon cut in half cross ways over the loaf and a swirl of ketchup. Trust me, it is worth it to put even just one strip on. She was even know to put sugary saucy concoctions on the top and man oh man did they make a tasty crusty meatloaf.

Bake it at 350 for an hour to an hour and a half depending on the meat thermometer that you stick in it. And like most things fresh from the oven let it sit a bit before you hack into it. Enjoy.

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