Sunday, March 13, 2011

One of my favorite recipes

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!


Cherie Wilson said...

i love all your recipes Cheryl! You make life look so tasty:) Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving kind words. Have a great week! XO

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

The whole plate looks so good!! Enjoy.

It won't be long until you get to see her!!

Chatty Crone said...

What time is dinner? It looked delish. I change up recipes too sometimes.


In the Light of the Moon said...

Yummy Yummy..makes me sooo hungry!!Thanks for sharing!!Hugs,Cat

ain't for city gals said...

Meatloaf, potatoes and gravy and corn is my absolutely favorite meal...I have never put carrots in the meatloaf but might try it next time...looks like a good hike the other day....hope you get over feeling bad once and for all soon...

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