Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mom's Meatloaf

First, some interesting history about meatloaf from the website Wikipedia:

"American meatloaf has its origins in scrapple, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal served by German-Americans in Pennsylvania since Colonial Times.  However, meatloaf in the contemporary American sense did not appear in cookbooks until the late 19th century."

"In 2007, meatloaf was voted the seventh-favorite dish in the United States according to Good Housekeeping.  During the Great Depression cooking meatloaf was a way to stretch the food budget for families, using an inexpensive type of meat and other ingredients as leftovers; along with spices, it was popular to add cereal grains to the meatloaf to stretch the meat. The tradition lives on with the merits of producing a lower-fat dish with superior binding and consistency.The meatloaf is typically eaten with some kind of sauce or relish."

Almost as American as apple pie,  meatloaf is one of those classic dishes that you should learn to make if your mom has a recipe. My Mom was no exception, and while I was growing up made meatloaf at least every other week. My brother Adam and I would fight over the ends of the meatloaf.

Dad would give one of us the end of the meatloaf and the other end would stay on the meatloaf to prevent it from drying out. After years of our bickering, each proclaiming it was "MY TURN" for the end, he eventually gave in and cut off both ends of the meatloaf just to shut us up. My sister, apparently was above the "meatloaf ends" controversy. Or did she just realize that Adam and I were louder than her and would ultimately win? How funny that we fought over it. And why? I think because it was the ceremonial first piece. I laugh as I think back to some of my siblings and my ridiculous squabbles. And the next day, we were so excited to open up our lunch boxes and find inside a cold meatloaf sandwich on white bread with ketchup.

I pulled out Mom's recipe this past week and decided to make it for John and I.  After a stressful week, I was looking for one thing, comfort food! I used ground turkey for this recipe, an equal amount as if I used ground beef, just a personal preference.  I also added some ground black pepper for a little bite.

While I make these recipes, my mind wanders to various meals around our kitchen table in the breakfast room at the Wenonah house. I think back to the 80's wallpaper and cabinets, the kitchen set which is still in Mom's most recent home in Lake Wynonah, the dry sink area nestled in the cabinets where the old small black and white TV sat, Gretchen, our German Shepherd begging silently, and then retreating to the colorful braided rug, her rug, at the other end of the kitchen. There are memories of meals in which we would go around the table by the direction of our father or mother, each of us kids recounting the experiences of the day, what happened at school, what learned. Rambling thoughts that one has while jumping from memory to memory to memory.

I smile, then grow sad, then smile once more. Such is the way of these blogs. They continue to be an emotional journey for me. I have grown so much from the experience of these creating these recipes and writing about them.

And one more thing about the meal with John and I where I served the meatloaf. I got the end. Some things never grow old.  :o)

Meatloaf by Abby Deeds

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef (I used ground turkey.)
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp of salt
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tspn ground pepper (My addition)

Mix well and pat evenly into a 9 x 5 glass loaf dish OR make a loaf in a large glass baking pan.
Bake at 350'F for 1 1/2 hours.

Optional: Brush meatloaf with a mixture of 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup chili sauce, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1 Tbsp Worcester sauce.

Bloggers note:  When I was growing up, Mom made her's without sauce. Her later recipe included a "sauce." I chose not to include it and make it as I had it growing up.