No flat tires today, no intolerable fatigue. Just another Monday. And also the beginning of the first full week of being back on the market for employment. What to do with myself…?
I know! How about a home-cooked meal for my poor, starving husband who hasn’t received a home-cooked meal from me in weeks? Yes. Yes, I think that’s what I’ll do. So I opted to whip up one of his favorite meals: meatloaf.
I know what you’re thinking: “Danielle, NOBODY likes meatloaf. And especially not your husband. All husbands are obligated to rave over some meal their wife cooks. And since you’ve yet to scorch an oversized meatball covered in ketchup, that sounds like a safe bet.” Perhaps you’re correct, friends, but if he made the mistake of naming my meatloaf as one of his favorite meals, there will be meatloaf on his plate. Here’s my (no-longer-so-) secret recipe. The one found in the Punxsutawney Christian School Cookbook from a few years back. Top Secret.
Start with two eggs. If you have chickens, raid the coop. Otherwise, the ones from the store will work too:
Add some milk. If you have a cow, you can use the fresh kind. In this house, we’re more into the skimmed-down version. Makes me feel like I’m being healthy. Oh, and if you wanted the exact measurement, I think the recipe said 3/4 cup. I’m terrible at math, but I think I got close.
Chop up some onion and some
garlic secret ingredient:
If your eyes have welled up and you need a break, measure out 2/3 cup breadcrumbs (saltines work too, or bread torn into fine pieces) and add it to the milk and eggs:
Mix it in and toss the onion and
garlic secret ingredient (recipe says 1/2 cup. I say put in as much as you want because I’m really bad at math).
Mix that all together till it’s blended and toss in a teaspoon of salt. You can use regular table salt; I prefer to cook with coarser Kosher salt.
Then add a dash (that’s the specific measurement noted in my recipe. Promise.) of pepper. You can use black pepper; I use peppercorn melange ’cause I like the colors. Yes, I base the taste of my food on the color of the peppercorns. Told you I’m a freak.
Then mix all that stuff together. By now you have a nice, spongy, soppy mess. It’s ok; I know it looks gross, but the finished product is the payoff here. Finally, it’s time to add the beef. If there’s one item from this meatloaf that’s best farm fresh, it’s the beef. This meal comes to us compliments of my parents’ farm, no hormones added, no cruelty involved. Good stuff.
Keep stirring everything together until it’s mixed pretty well. Then slap it into a loaf pan or some other cute little serving piece that’s safe to go into the oven and will bring your meal out looking like…well, a loaf of meat.
Finally, the sauce for on top: mix together 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup of ketchup, and 1/2 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Put some on top of the meatloaf for baking, and save the rest to put on the table to serve on the side for dipping.
I served the meatloaf with one of my favorite kinds of potatoes: sliced in half, and baked upside down in butter and spices. (Melt some butter in an oven-safe dish. Add some garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, thyme, basil, oregano, and paprika… or whatever you have on hand. I don’t think I’ve ever used the same spice combination twice. Then slice some potatoes and turn them white-side-down in the butter and spices. Bake at 350 for about an hour.) You can substitute olive oil for the butter if you’re looking for a more heart-healthy version. I’ve done it both ways. We cooked some corn, and dinner was served.
Maybe we’ll try some new recipes this week. Do you have any favorites to share?