Monday, August 28, 2006

Me vs. the meatloaf on the menu

I blame my mother, which of course is standard fare for all of us, especially women, to do. But Mother wasn't a cook. Nor was she a seamstress, both talents at which her mother excelled, therefore mine had nothing to do with either. (I have a theory that if your mother is good at something, you will not be. For example, Mother had a very green thumb, could merely look at a rose cutting and it would bloom while I must continually replant what has died under my watchful, how-much-is-too-much-water-challenged eyes.)

But back to the cooking. Mother had standard fare in the kitchen, most of which, spaghetti, something called "dinner in a dish", and an overly dry roast, we learned to live with. But her meatloaf was abysmal.

I would scrape the tomato topping off and eat it, then move the parcels of beef around on my plate, trying to hide them. Unlike the time when I was 6 or so and, left to my own devices at the kitchen table and I took my, to me, awful fried egg sandwich and stuck it in a thermos bottle where it languished for 6 months before being discovered and tossed (I was as surprised an anyone in the family to find such a mess in the thermos), unlike then, I was immediately found out for not eating the meatloaf. Very well, I could go hungry. Very well, I hardly thought of it that way. More like esophageal preservation. Even venturing to make it in my own kitchen with a reliable cookbook at hand had been a disastrous affair. I was meatloaf-impaired.

So yesterday when my husband and I pulled into the parking lot of our favorite after-church cafe, I was dismayed to find that along with stuffed fish and chicken and dumplings (not my fav either), there was meatloaf on the menu. Spouse is not a meatloaf fan either, but he had tried the cafe's offering and liked it and dared me to do so also.

Had the stuffed fish not been so good, I would have had to have two servings of the meatloaf. Who knew it could be so flavorful, that hidden underneath the tomato sauce was a well-balanced range of spices?

Hat in hand, so to speak, I found the owner/cook and confessed. I was a convert, but a cautious one. I'd never scorn her meatloaf and I swore to try little bites of anyone else's.

I just didn't promise to try and make it on my own,


At 12:59 PM CDT, Blogger Lynette said...

I was going to ask for your mother's meatloaf recipe until I read what you had to say. :)

I haven't tasted meatloaf in years. I used to have a nice recipe for it that included minced beef, sausagemeat, peppers and stuffing all bound together with beaten egg. Is that something like the meatloaf recipes you have in the U.S?

Glad you got to enjoy it in the end!



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