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December 30, 2010

Your Mother Wears Combat Oven Mitts

By Nancy Pickard

My mom really does make the world’s best meatloaf.  Your mom doesn’t.  Nuh uh.  Does not.  And My Mom’s Meatloaf has even gotten BETTER in the last few years, impossible as that would have seemed to me before it happened.  My Mom’s Meatloaf is best eaten hot with mashed/baked/scalloped potatoes and green beans, but mac ‘n’ cheese is good with it, too.  It’s terrific as left-overs served in hot samiches with mayo and lettuce.

 My Mom’s Meatloaf 


Oops, wrong Meatloaf. . .and I'm sure nobody has ever made that joke before, hahaha. . .

Turkey meatloaf 004

NOW, My Mom's Meatloaf. . .*

1 pound ground beef

½ pound ground sausage (we like the “mild.”  Jimmy Dean’s is good.  Alas, poor Jimmy, at least you left us sausage.)

Note: If you want to make more, the formula is half as much sausage as beef.  Or, if you prefer, twice as much beef as sausage.

Another Note: Resist the urge to put in crackers or bread crumbs.  My grandmother used crumbs, but that was because she needed to "extend" the recipe.  We think the meatloaf is jucier without them.

1 raw egg, not including shell

However much chopped onion you think you'd like in it

A dollop of ketsup

A smaller dollop of wet mustard (plain ol')

Salt & pepper to suit yourself

Smoosh that all up together with your hands. 

Cold meat makes my hands ache like crazy, so I either leave the meat out just long enough to take some chill off, or I do the wimpy thing and put a layer of plastic wrap between my dainty hands and the meat.  I suppose you could use a food processor.  Huh.

Brush top with a little catsup

Put it in a casserole dish.  My mom says, don’t form a loaf.  It cooks more evenly if you moosh it down (loosely) flat and even in the dish.  Also, the dish should have a flower pattern on the outside.

 Bake in MICROWAVE at half power for 25 minutes, or until juicy and (almost) done.  (Depends on how big you make your meatloaf, of course.)  If you don’t use a microwave, or you don’t trust this, go ahead and cook it in your wood burning stove at 375 for however long it takes.  But I’m telling you, it won’t be as good. It’ll be good, just not as good. I realize this is hard to believe.  But removing the bread crumbs and using the microwave is why my mom’s meatloaf got better.  

Serves however many people you’ve got, depending on size of slices, duh.  We’re only two, so we get to eat a lot of hot samiches for several days.  I know! So lucky!  We have great meatloaf karma.

So there you go!  It's the world's simplest recipe, which I have managed to complicate unnecessarily, ha ha.


 1.  What did/does your mom fix that is better than anybody else’s version of it?  What food never tastes as good if somebody else makes it? 

 2.  What food did you always tell your mom you liked, but the truth is you really didn’t?  I always told my mom I loved her Christmas cinnamon rolls, but honestly? Hard as rocks.  If we’d had a bigger family, there’d have been a cinnamon roll fight and concussions.  The NML  (National Meatloaf League) would have ordered the use of helmets.

 3. If you’re a mom or dad, what do you cook that your kids love best?


* Photo above is not really of My Mom's Meatloaf, or her potato or green beans, for that matter.  Her meatloaf is much juicier, her potato is softer, and her green beans are WHOLE and bacon-y. "Cut" green beans are yukky. gws







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I think this blog of mine today is a reaction to too-much turkey.

My mom's meatloaf went through a bad patch a couple of years ago, but luckily, she rescued it from the Hell of Overcooking. Relief was felt throughout the land, or at least throughout my intestines.

Most everything my mom ever cooked was damned good tastin', but I think her pies pretty much ruined me for anybody elses. Actually, her enchiladas rocked the house, too, which is pretty good for a half Irish half Portuguese cook.

The only thing my mom ever cooked that I would not eat was liver. Not her fault, though, since I have yet to find anybody who could fix that vile organ in a form that I would eat.

My mother cooked the best vegetable soup with elbow macaroni, tomatoes and a great broth.
Liver was not a favorite until I learned to make it with onions and sometimes a tomato based sauce.
My kids loved my macaroni and cheese. I would mix the noodles with, you guessed it, tomato sauce and then add cheese and melt the cheese in the oven.
Right now, I am wondering why I bought a huge bone-in ham. The label said a half ham but it looks like it could take on Philadelphia.
I envision fried ham, ham sandwiches and possibly ham pea soup with the ham bone.
Nancy, I am going to try your mother's meatloaf. It sounds wonderful.

Other than about a dozen great dishes--chicken & dumplings, fried chicken, chili, potato salad, and some others--my mom was not a very inspired cook unless she was making a complicated dessert from scratch. Then no trouble was too much, including hand grating mountains of carrots and coconut and chopping nuts for carrot cake or German chocolate cake.

However, her recipe for meatloaf is so similar to your mother's Nancy, minus the sausage, and with tomato paste on top instead of ketchup.

I haven't made meatloaf in years. There's a pound of thawed ground venison in the fridge; I think I'll make some tonight for dinner. Yum. And it must be eaten with mashed potatoes.

By the way, meatloaf sammies as our house had mustard, never mayonnaise.

Meant to answer the questions:

1. Salmon patties. I can never make them exactly the same as she does.

2. When she married her second husband she started making his version of spaghetti sauce, which they always got all excited about, but I thought was an abomination to the pasta.

3. Two things my kids always ask for when they come home: potato salad (my Hungarian grandmother's very different recipe, and a family secret), or venison chili. They also like a salmon pasta recipe, but they all know how to make all this stuff themselves because I gave them a family cookbook a couple years ago.

*** me yelling ***
What in the blue blazes are you doing up so late, Karen?

I just finished writing my short story for New Year's Eve submission... YAY!! But I had to catch up on TLC before I went to bed. And Nancy P is blogging today. Another YAY!

Nancy P, your mom's meatloaf recipe looks pretty yummy. I don't cook very much, so I've tested prepared meatloaf from Whole Foods, Fresh Market and a few other stores around town. I like Fresh Market's meatloaf covered in two of my favorite foods - mashed potatoes and cheese. Yum. Yum.

My mom was a wonderful gourmet cook, and I liked almost everything she made. But my favorite was her Beef Stroganoff served over medium flat noodles. It was like a little bit of heaven on my birthday. She could cook a mean beef tenderloin, and not a single pork chop was ever tough (which seems to be my cooking fate).

I loved her chicken livers and gravy over rice, chicken and dumplings, cooked cabbage, steamed kale, northern Italian dishes, and most of her casseroles. Thursday nights we usually had casseroles covered in bread crumbs or potato chips...always a surprise...not always a winner.

1. Everything. Her soups, homemade salad dressings, and vegetable dishes were devine. She could prepare all kinds of meat and keep them tender. And I miss them all.

2. My sisters and I didn't shy away from telling mom if her food wasn't up to par, and we all left home and got married before she quit cooking.

3. My kids like my spaghetti sauce and my thyme, skinless, boneless, chicken breasts cooked and steamed in a skillet with a bit of sherry added to the mix. And I can make a mean pot of delectable mash potatoes (lots of butter, lots of cream cheese, a hint of milk).

Now I'm hungry. ;-D

Nancy, what? No oatmeal? Heh. I'm ducking! I'm ducking! Auntie-Mom makes the best meatloaf ever, but I will try your mom's recipe tomorrow... really.

Auntie-Mom could not make French spaghetti. For me, she tried. And I lied.

My kids think I make the best tourtière ever, not that they ever had anyone else's or anything. My mémère made the best.

Margaret M. I posted mémère's Tourtière recipe on Barbara's blog for yesterday.

Okay, I have to admit that when I got to the part about cooking it in the microwave, I thought to myself that whoever wrote this must be on drugs. Are you sure about the microwave? Really, really sure? Because I'm having a major doubting Thomas moment about this. My position on microwaves is that they are only good for popping popcorn and reheating, and I never get the reheating part quite right.

Apart from that, it sounds delish. Which is why I'm struggling with the microwave part.

I'm going to try this microwave version, but just so you'll know, there is a good chance my family will disown me for it.

My mom is a great cook. My dinner favorites are her macaroni and cheese and beef noodle casserole-such comfort food on wintery nights. The thing she cooks that I love most are sweetmilks, a Norwegian breakfast crepe. I remember padding into the kitchen in my pajamas Saturday mornings and having a competition with my brothers to see who could eat the most. I never won, but it sure was delicious trying!

My mom was a lousy cook. From the time I was old enough to reach the knobs on the stove I did most of the cooking in our house.

Here is a quick and easy to improve the flavor of meatloaf and anything else that has onions in the recipe.

Chop the onions then in a heavy skillet (I use high end All-Clad or thick cast iron) put about a quarter inch of canola oil. Over high heat with constant stirring caramelize the onions. Do not use olive oil or butter they cannot take the heat without burning. With about 30 seconds to go before the onions are done, toss in some minced garlic. Garlic cooks fast and burns easy especially on high heat.

Remove from the heat and with a slotted spoon transfer the onions and garlic to a paper towel to drain. When they are cool enough to handle, blend into the meatloaf. The leftover oil is fantastic for making fried potatoes or any kind of breaded cutlets.

In my meatloaf I use Heinz “Chili Sauce” instead of ketchup. Jack Daniel’s makes an amazing horseradish mustard which I also use.

I'm in the same position as Rod. My mother was a lousy cook. Us girls had to learn to cook in self-defense. But when it comes to meatloaf, my husband is pretty good. He also doesn't make a loaf but he doesn't do it in a casserole dish, either. His favorite way is in muffin tins. Portion control without having to cut in and let the juices out prematurely.

My mom lets others do the cooking these days, but I always loved her Mac and cheese (which I now make myself) and a soup she made - Scotch Broth, with lamb and barley. I never pretended to like things I didn't, and as the youngest, I got away with not eating what I didn't like - things like liver and onions and creamed salmon and peas on toast (!), both favorites of my father. I could smell the salmon one as soon as I hit the door - it was awful.

As far as my kids go, my daughter swears no matter what she does, she can't make scrambled eggs as good as mine. My step-son loves my meatballs, and they all love the afore-mentioned Mac and cheese.

Sorry, I've never been one for meatloaf. But your mom's sounds like something I'd actually like. :)

Oh - another thing I make that the kids love - also from my Mom - is fried noodles as a side-dish. Boil egg noodles, drain, then fry in butter, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper until they get slightly brown.

They love them.

Sorry, Doc, but *my* mother baked the best pies. (She quit. Says the crust is too much work. It's a national tragedy, believe me.)

Otherwise, she was not much of a cook, mainly because she gave up butter in 1953. Most of us would kill for her figure even now at 82.

My mom was a very good cook and luckily she passed that gene onto me and I have passed it on to both my kids. (Girls in St. Louis- I got a 27 yr old son who LOVES to cook). The one thing my mom made that I absolutely hated was her corn bread. She made it in those old cast iron pans shaped like ears of corn. Flat as a pancake and hard as a rock. I didn't know how good cornbread could be until I went away to school and had it in the dorm cafeteria of all places.

It wasn't my mom, but my grandma, and she made the most intriguing and wonderful brown bread, from yeast dough, to ever sit on a cutting board. Maybe there as a handwritten recipe ("a handful of this, a pinch of that") but no one ever could duplicate it. It died with her.

My kids think I'm a genius because I make this easy-peasy version of Chicken Parmesan. Really, a mannequin could do it. But don't tell them. I do few enough things right as it is.

Nancy M, hows the MOB doing? Have you had time to collapse yet?

I can't believe your mom gave up butter in 1953. That was the year I was born! I can't imagine going that long without one of my favorite fats! My mashed potatoes would cry, and so would I.

We've been traveling for our Christmas visit with Donald's family and I'm just now catching up with my favorite blogs. This one is very timely 'cause I swear, Donald's mother is a great cook. I have eaten like a piglet for days and now none of my jeans fit. I'm really not such a great cook, so perhaps I'll be able to get back into them in a few days.

My mom's best dish was Swiss Steak. I have girlfriends from back then who still mention coming to our house for Swiss Steak. We all still fix it once in awhile, but there's just something about my mom's . . .

(Terrific Post, Nancy!!)

BE SURE TO COVER THE MEATLOAF WITH PLASTIC WRAP when you put it in the microwave.

It makes me very nervous to see that several people are actually going to try the recipe. :) Crosses fingers and hopes it's delish.

We seem to have an anti-liver consensus, which I join. Really, who likes that stuff? Some of our parents do, I guess.

Marie, we craved ham the day after Christmas. Should have asked you for left-overs. :)

Hey, Laura. What's your recipe for mac and cheese? I love it and that was about the only thing my mom wouldn't cook. She said her mom fixed it too much when she was growing up, and she was tired of it.

Since I was "denied" it at home, I became a mac & cheese fiend eating out. When I was at George Washington U, I'd eat it and a small salad every day at lunch.I did the same when I worked on Capital Hill (plus whatever yummy Southern-style greens the Capitol's cafeteria had that day).

My son loves my Kraft's mac & cheese, but I'd like to fix an actual, real, homemade version every once in a while.

Karen, salmon pasta? Share, please? Just those two words together make my mouth water. But I'm reading Anthony Bourdain's MEDIUM RAW, and he says chefs hate having to cook salmon, cause they think it's boring. Not me. I love it.

Becky, thank you! I was fixin' the mashed potatoes on Christmas, and the mixer wasn't working properly, and the potatoes looked like something I could use to fasten packages, instead of tape. I said, "hmm, maybe creamed cheese," to which my son reacted with, "ew," and now I can tell him I should have listened to my instincts. Actually, my mashed p's turned out to taste fine--or maybe my family was tactfully telling me so while pasting them to the bottom of the table like old gum.

Kaye, my dad was the serious cook in my childhood home, and he made wonderful Swiss steak, too. I did learn to make it exactly the same way, and my kids also loved it.

So enjoying all the stories.

Nancy P, I was the lone dissenting vote against hating liver. My mom fixed the most awesome, baked chicken livers with gravy. We'd put it over rice.

(But I am in agreement with the majority on beef liver.Ick.)

I don't think I said that right. I meant --

I was the lone vote against hating liver.

Karen, congrats on finishing the story! Submission to what and where? (If you don't mind saying.) Also--those steamed, sherried chicken breasts sound yummy. Note to self: must make Beef Stroganoff soon.

Reine, oatmeal! You're the second person this morning to mention it. My friend Linda, over on my fb page, did, too. Well, I guess filler is filler, and our parents and grandparents were thrifty and clever at making small dishes bigger. I really recommend leaving it out, though, for juicier meatloaf.

Ramona, I know, lol. I was shocked, too.

Becky! That comment of mine above was for you, of course. Sorry that my fingers think "Becky" is spelled "Karen."

I am loving 'food week' at TLC. It is a little late, but maybe Holly could do a food/TLC logo. My mom's best recipes are for cookies; Meringues (with chocolate chips and made pink with maraschino juice) and buckeyes http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1910,158179-225193,00.html, yes, Karen, mom is from Ohio. I love her blintzes as well. She has offered her homemade blintzes at charity auctions before.

The princesses love that daddy cooks. Their favorite is daddy pizza. Given our healthier lifestyle, many of my recipes are on semi-retirement. We make meatloaf in the muffin tin. You get even portions that way.

For a while, princess two had cheese pizza for lunch at preschool every day. Her teachers asked her what kind it was. "Daddy pizza." was her only reply. They tried to explain, was it from the store, frozen, all she would say was "Daddy pizza." At parent teacher conferences they asked us where the pizza came from. I told them, I made it. I did. It does help that I have access to pizza dough made by professionals dough makers and a $30,000 pizza oven.

I used to hate liver until I went to lunch in NYC in the 70's and ordered it. My mother had panfried the crap out of the stuff, so no wonder we hated it. This lunch liver was a thick portion, the size of a filet mignon, broiled and topped with thin and airy curls of fried onion. It was a totally different species of liver, let me tell you.

Now I don't eat it, ever since my massage therapist advised me against it, since the liver is where all the body's toxins are cleaned. Oh, yuck.

Nancy, salmon pasta is very easy. First broil a chunk of salmon; I use about 1/8 pound per person, but you can always use more, and I use lemon pepper or some kind of seasoning on the salmon, along with some lemon juice, before it goes under the broiler. When it's finished, 10 minutes an inch, take it out and let it cool while you make the rest of the dish. Crumble the salmon when it's cool enough to handle, so it's ready later.

Put on the water for angel hair pasta.

Cut a bunch of grape tomatoes in half; set aside. Chiffonade a good bunch of basil and set that aside. Mince some garlic. More is better here, I think; I usually use about 5 or 6 cloves, depending how big they are. (And I would not hesitate to use a whole head, if you really like garlic.)

Add 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil to a large skillet, heat until it shimmers. Add the garlic, and lightly saute, just until it gets fragrant. Add the tomatoes, turn down the heat a little, and cook, stirring, until they soften and get juicy. Then add the broken-up salmon and let it get warm again, then throw in the basil and heat just until it's wilted.

Drain the pasta, toss with the salmon/basil/tomato mixture (sometimes I just scoop the pasta in with the salmon, adding in a little of the pasta water. You can also add more olive oil at this point). Toss with about 1/4-1/2 C of grated peccorino romano cheese. You can use Parmesan, but it's way better with the peccorino. Grate freshly ground pepper over all. Serve with more peccorino romano.

Serve with good, crusty bread and a salad. Add wine, as necessary. Bon apetito!

Rod, I'm impressed. I wanna come to your house to eat.
My grandmother made chicken dressing that included an entire chicken that was melt in your mouth wonderful. Unfortunately it died with her and no one had been able to come close. I weep just thinking about it.
My mom was the baker and my dad the cook in the house. He made the best SOS. Yummy.
I, in turn, am not the cook in my family. But I have a mean take out ordering finger. Although we do like ourselves some eggos in the morning with heated maple syrup!

I've eaten at Rod's house many times (and he has fed my daughter many, many more times), and I can attest: he's a damn fine cook.

Rats! That should have been: Buon appetito!

Uh, I love liver & bacon & onions.

I don't remember anything of my Mom's and I've been cooking since I was twelve. Fairly successfully as I went on to cooking in a couple of good restaurants. I prefer being a home cook.

Rod, I'm going to disagree with you in your method with onions. [Believe me, anyone who knows me will be amazed that I am advising lowered fat, but this is a new discovery].
Put your chopped onions into a DRY [and well-seasoned] cast iron skillet that has been heating on low. Turn up to medium and toss for several minutes while the onions go translucent and start to take on a little color. Then add a tablespoon or two of butter or oil (or bacon grease) and continue to toss. When almost browned as much as you want, add the chopped garlic.
If you want to have chopped red or green peppers in the mix, put them in the skillet first.

Kellee, my dad would make SOS from scratch on Saturday mornings. Only Stouffers brand comes close. So I get the three-pack about once a year and dole it out more skimpily than I do frozen Thin Mints.

Sorry for hogging the thread this morning. But I'm going to the grocery store now. You guys have made me hungry.

We never had meatloaf in our house. My mother was a single ingredient kind of gal. Meat? Check. Overdone veggie? Check. Starch? Check. Meal complete. If we wanted anything else that didn't come with a Stouffer's label, we hit the Luby's Cafeteria down the street.

I love meatloaf. When we were growing up, my stapfather didnt "allow" Mom to make it, since he didnt like it. Or Chinese food. Or MAc and cheese. Or macaroni with hamburger in it. As a result, I love all that stuff. I never got to have it. (It wasnt as draconian as it sounded. Well it was, but not ugly. Just--how things were.)

ANyway! Mom convinced us that turkey was best when it was DRY. (SHe would over cook it--but her theory was to tell us that it was perfect) So the turkey would be serived, and we were so indoctrinated, we'd say YUM, this turkey is great, it's so nice and dry!! And stringy!

(Hilariously, now when somoeone makes turkey that juicy, I secretly think: YUCK. I don't think this is done.)

She did make delicious chicken cacciatore. And Boeuf Bourguignon. Hmmm...

"stuck," I've never heard of sweetmilk before!

Rod, ooo, horseradish mustard sounds great.

Judith, muffin tins! What will they think of next? :)

Laura(in PA), fried noodles! I'd forgotten that I used to fix that, and loved it. The bread crumbs are a great idea. (Sounds so good, I want some for breakfast.) Creamed peas and salmon, shudder.

Nancy, I'll never give up butter. Nevernevernever. Even when they call me Butterball NancyP.

Cheryl in STL. . .Why?! does cornbread taste so bad in those tins? Dries it out, maybe.

Harley, I think I want your Chicken Parmesan recipe.

Kaye, I've never liked Swiss Steak, so I am very intrigued by your report of a good one. (Thank you!)

Becky, nothing really beats homemade from scratch mac and cheese for me. Lately, I've eaten some really great versions of it at restaurants. I think that counts?

Holly: I’ll try your onion technique. I came up with the method I mentioned when I was playing around with home fries and wanted the caramelized onions. If they were added at the same time for the potatoes to be golden brown and crunchy, the onions overcooked and turned black. I started using this on other recipes since my wife, AKA, She Who Must Be Obeyed, loves that taste. A tablespoon between the meat and cheese of a hamburger is divine. It is also a great late entry to stir fry and anything else with onion on the ingredient list.

Holly, I'm glad someone besides me likes liver, bacon, onions...yum!! I don't make it at home, though, and I only eat it about once a year but I do love it!

My mom made the best pot roast. I cannot duplicate it no matter how much I try; neither can any of my siblings. She also made great potato salad. One of my siblings makes a potato salad that comes pretty close to Mom's but it's still not quite the same as hers. Mom also made the greatest herbed salad dressing. Mine is not bad but it's not Mom's. One of my sisters was having people over for dinner one time and wanted to serve salad with Mom's salad dressing. Mom ran over to her house ahead of time - they did not live in the same city - and made the dressing for her. The guests raved about it.

I love meatloaf and make a pretty good one, according to anyone who has eaten it. I use (Nancy, don't read this!) ground turkey, though; also, usually a chopped onion, some Worcestershire sauce, an egg, (again, Nancy, don't look!) some seasoned breadcrumbs and whatever herbs I feel like adding. I don't really make it the same way twice in a row.

My entire family and many of my friends think I like "weird" foods. (They are wrong, wrong, wrong; they're just narrow-minded eaters!) On occasion I get on a tofu "kick" and make a bunch of tofu meals. One of my sisters told me once that she liked "that thing you made with meat that's not really meat". I remembered that she had been at my home for dinner unexpectedly a few months earlier, and I had offered her some leftovers that included something made with tofu. She had refused it, though, so I wasn't sure what she was talking about. She went on to say that "you make meatballs from it, and meatloaf". Aha! She thinks ground turkey isn't "real" meat!

Becky, our Mac and cheese probably would be frowned at by the gourmet types, but it works for us. It was a good way to feed a lot of kids on Fridays during Lent.

I had to have my mother talk me through it over the phone, because of course she measured nothing. Here goes:

Boil a pound of macaroni, or whatever pasta shape you happen to have. I like the spiral ones. Drain and put back into pot. (I use a shallow dutch-oven type.) pour milk in the pot until you can see it through the pasta. (I told you she didn't measure). Heat. Throw in 2-3 tablespoons butter or margarine, stir it around to melt. Mix flour and water to make a thick liquid. Pour into pot with pasta and milk and stir on low heat until it starts to thicken. Add grated cheese - I use a good-size brick of sharp cheddar - the sharper the better, and throw in a little Parmesan. Stir until cheese is melted and makes creamy sauce (add a dollop or two if milk if needed).

Put the whole thing in a casserole dish - I use an 18 x 9 one to have more topping surface area. Sprinkle with more cheese (again I usually mix the two) and some breadcrumbs (I use Italian style). Broil until brown and bubbly.

My mom was a good cook and I really can't think of anything I wouldn't eat except liver and/or gizzards. I always had to try something she fixed but I was never forced to eat it if I really didn't like it. I guess if I had to pick a favorite that really isn't usually duplicated by anyone else it would be her chicken and dumplings. She made the rolled/cut kind which I prefer to drop dumplings. The only person who comes closest to matching the taste is my cousin's wife who is a vegetarian and has never tasted her own recipe. She would make them for her husband and he was her official "taster" when she brought them to our family reunion.

I also loved mom's taffy and divinity. I have fond memories of her making taffy and getting to help her "pull" it. I have the taffy recipe but have never tried to make it.

OMG, It's morning here, and I haven't even had breakfast. Nancy P-you could write a very funny, and tasty cookbook. Nancy M.-are you shrieking yet or is everything taken care of ? Good luck and Have fun! My mother' best dish was fried chicken, Viennese style, and Veal cutlets the same. Karen in Ohio, I wonder if her potato salad was like your grandma's, did I get that right? My children liked my version of chicken tenders, and everyone liked my spaghetti sauce, except my older daughter who decided she liked raw spaghetti better. okay...anyway, I loved calves liver made soft and tender with onions. It's milder than beef liver, but a real no-no for those with cholesteral issues. Along with the butter, sigh. Happy New Year everyone.

Not a meat loaf fan, though I love Meat Loaf (who was reviewed in the NYT as Mr. Loaf).
My mom made really good butter beans, ham and potatoes boiled together.
Next best -- green beans, potatoes and ham.

Mr. Loaf, lol. His best number ever, in my opinion, is Somebody Loves Me, from the Glory of Gershwin CD:


Yes, Lil, I'm sorry if that was unclear. My grandmother's recipe has been handed down through three more generations now.

Nancy P, I made a ground venison-no-sausage version of your meatloaf for lunch. This recipe is a keeper, thank you for sharing it!

I remember making meatloaf with Rotel stewed tomatoes with chili peppers..mild. I shredded cheese on half of the mixture then layered remaining mixture, topped with shredded cheese. Yummy!

Forget what I was planning on cooking this weekend! (Well, actually, I was just going to reheat leftovers...) You have all inspired me: I'm going to make a few different versions of meatloaf, a few different versions of mac&cheese, and maybe invent a combination of the two while I'm at it!

Karen, before I forget: I have printed out your salmon pasta recipe. I can't wait to try it! Salmon is my favorite meal.
Thank you!

I'll be offline for a few days; so to all of you I wish a very Happy New Year!

"Daddy pizza." Alan, that is so charming. I laughed at your kitchen equipment. Or maybe it's not nice to laugh at a man's equipment? :)

It's the battle of the onions! Personally, I want my onions to start out raw in my meatloaf, but those other ways sound good, too.

Deborah, "single ingredient cook" makes me laugh. I can imagine a cookbook. A very, very easy cookbook.

Hank, that's so funny about your mom's dry turkey. Man, she did a number on you.

Rod, I think you have discovered the secret to keeping the onions on the cheeseburger. Also? Sounds really delicious that way.

Deb, lol, I peeked. Turkey meatloaf sounds good! I'll admit, though, that I'm not a big fan of Worcester in meatloaf. (Or garlic, though I love it in almost any other meat dish else.)

Laura in PA, thank you for the recipe. I want to make that.

Diana in Stl, don't tell my mom that her divinity was another thing I used to fib about.

Lil? What's Viennese style fried chicken?

Elaine, Mr. Loaf, lol. That must have tickled the Grey Lady, too.

Karen in Ohio, you made it already! I hope it was juicy. I tired to imagine it with venison, and then I realized I've never had venison, can you believe it?

Karen, thank you for the salmon recipe!

Marie, okay, that's just NOT meatloaf. It's, uh, Roteloaf. :)

Deb, wow! Let us know how it goes, okay? Esp. the combo experiment.

I hope I've put all the right names with the right replies. You know who you are, right?

Becky, we make a mac and cheese that's great. Start with any mundane recipe for it. Grate your cheese fine (or buy it already grated), 3 different kinds...a VERY sharp cheddar, a stringy of some sort and a mexican blend or one with either peppercorns or jalapenos in it. Replace at least half the milk (we do more than half) with sour cream. Dust the top with parmesan and put in the oven until all the cheese is melted and the top brown. You may have to cover it for a while to keep the topping from burning while the cheese does its thing. You can also add some chives if you want.

Omg, Judith, that sounds incredibly good. Thanks for sharing.

These are all perfect comfort foods for winter.

I forgot to say--Happy New Year, everybody!

Laura and Judith - Thanks SOOO much for the recipes. My mouth is watering from reading them. I think I'll try them out next week. Yum Yum Yum!

A little hijack here --

I just saw this interesting tidbit on the BBC History website:

"A survey of the BBC Magazines reader panel conducted on behalf of BBC History Magazine has uncovered that the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice is the best costume drama to have graced Britain's television screens."

And can I just say, I totally agree. Thank you, Colin Firth!

OK, back to the regularly scheduled blog...

I agree with that, too, Becky. It played out exactly the way I had pictured it when reading the book.

Nancy, it was juicy, as advertised! Will look forward to some New Year's Eve lunch sandwiches tomorrow.

As my friend's seven-year old daughter says, Happy New Year's Adam, everyone!

Because Adam came before Eve, of course! :-)

Nancy, I just sent Steve out for Jimmy Dean's and some regular yellow mustard. He'll rebel at the regular mustard. I had to make him live in Boston for years before he got the meaning of "regular." He came home from Dunkies one day wanting to know what "regular" coffee was. He was very upset, because someone gave him coffee with cream and sugar in it. He thought regular coffee was... uh... not espresso. He's going to try and tell me that some brown, lumpy, horseradishy, sour, seed-laden paste is "regular" mustard. I'll let you know how it goes! He once tried to tell me Inglehoffer's was the same as Poupon Gris.

Karen, so glad it's good!

Oh oh, Reine, lol. I cannot be held responsible for husbandly interference in the recipe.

Your mom gave up butter, Nancy? I could never give up butter. I'd mainline or drink it melted as a cocktail it if I could get away with it.

Of course, thanks to my inherited inability to fully metabolise bad cholesterol (thanks, Mom!), I can just cook with it and spread it on stuff.

Actually, I'm reading this after dinner, and I'm still drooling. I am some smoked salmon (caught by a friend), and I might try that salmon pasta. I'm not usually a fish person. Viennese Fried chicken isn't that different from ours, other than there are very few spices. First cut up pieces, dip in flour, then in an egg beaten with milk, and then plain bread crumbs. Fry in oil (Wesson or some other vegetable oil-I was told that the Viennese used lard, not healthy, and my mom would then put into oven on paper toweled plate to get everything more oil free, and serve with lemon slices. Veal cutlets work this way as well, often served with lemon slices, and capers. Ideally, one would then panfry new potatoes in the pan. I just don't fry anymore, just saute, and I envy those who can eat this way.

Nancy, that is fantastic meat loaf! It came out so good Steve went
against his Puritain cultural heritage and complimented me. To
understand the depth of his compliment you have to envision about 50
men yelling the following phrase in a canyon above the sound of
roaring rapids in a canyon. Steve said, "Reine, your new meatloaf
recipe turned out really good." OK, I know that doesn't sound like
much, but honest, it is HUGE. And I was stunned.

And yes, he did get the regular mustard, but he made up for it by
getting the enteric coated aspirin instead of the regular baby

Thanks, Nancy. :)

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