My favorite meat loaf recipe comes from this cookbook: Square Meals by Jane and Michael Stern. This cookbook features recipes that were popular from the 1920's through the 1950's and not only gives the recipe- but the history behind it.
My favorite recipe from this cookbook is called "diner meat loaf." I like the combination of beef and pork. (And as a rule, I do not eat beef.)
Here is how it looks with the beef, pork and oatmeal.
I added a small can of mushrooms.
Another trick of my own to add a little more fiber and flavor is to add carrots. When my children were little I would grind the carrots very small. I was also "hiding them" from their Dad. Doug and I both like carrots in our meat loaf, so I slice them very thin. I used three small carrots.
Two of these little babies. My granddaughter, Natalie, was born on the same day as my egg lady/friend/colleague, Mary Jo. Mary Jo gave this dozen eggs to me ("the eternal symbol of fertility,") as a gift celebrating Natalie's birth. You can see why I am friends with Mary Jo. I like the way that lady thinks!
Here is how the meatloaf looks when all mixed up before I cover with tomato juice and catsup.
And here is how it looks after I slop on the tomato juice and catsup. My mother had one of these speckled enamelware baking dishes with lid and when I married and "set up housekeeping," I had to have the same. She always baked her meatloaf in hers and I have always baked my meatloaf in mine. And my meatloaf always looks something like a football.
The instructions in the cookbook read "Do not under cook. A pink-centered meat loaf would humiliate any true diner chef. Gray is the color, through and through."
Before living here, I (and the two maternal generations preceding moi) have always cooked with gas. Dug's stove is electric and I hate it. It always "over cooks." I get mad and then he says it is my fault for not knowing to compensate.
As I said yesterday, I have been sick and my appetite has been hampered by the fact that everything tastes like cardboard and my sense of smell has been hampered. So I made buttered peas.
And mashed potatoes. Do you know what the secret is to good mashed potatoes? Heat your milk before you add it to the potatoes. I always heat mine in the microwave in a coffee cup. And lots of butter, of course. I remember when my children were in grade school and they came home and said "the potatoes at school are white- not yellow like yours!"
And, just because I found it in the cabinet, I mixed up one of those envelopes of brown gravy.
It was so good (yes even to me through my stuffy head) that we ate it for lunch and dinner.
I have to change every recipe that I make. Do you? I just always think to myself "now, how could I make this just a little better?" For this recipe, I add one small (drained) can of mushrooms, 3 small carrots sliced thin and a teaspoon of Colman's dry mustard. I use three-quarters of a cup of tomato juice when I mix the recipe and then I use the remaining quarter of tomato juice mixed with catsup to spread over the mixture before baking. And, because I have colitis, I eliminate the onion.
Here is the recipe from Square Meals:
1 and 1/4 lbs ground beef
1/4 lb of ground pork
3/4 cup instant oatmeal
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 onion, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix beef, pork, oatmeal and eggs. Blend in milk, tomato juice, onion, Worcestershire, and seasonings. Pack firmly into 9x5 inch loaf pan, shaping a rounded top. Bake one and a half hours. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Drain off any excess juice at bottom of pan. Serves 8.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!