Home Grown

All recipes can be improved, even meatloaf

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I’ve never been a fan of meatloaf. To begin with, there’s just something wrong with putting meat into a loaf pan. Loaf pans are for bread, not hamburger. Then when it’s sliced up it’s always a weird color and don’t get me started on the mushy texture. And the fact that most people have to smother it with catsup in order to choke it down must mean I’m not alone in my dislike of the dish. Meatloaf is just all wrong… at least that’s what I used to think.

So last week when I was at my parents’ house canning more tomatoes, my mom asked if it was okay if we stayed home and she made dinner. I said, “Absolutely.” I always love everything my mom makes, so I didn’t give it a second thought… until she said she had meatloaf made up and ready to go. Augh!

I continued working on coring and cutting up tomatoes and never mentioned my disgust with meatloaf. I prayed my mom’s meatloaf would be better than I remembered meatloaf being the last time I had it.

When the meatloaf was close to being done, I was surprised at how good the kitchen smelled. Maybe it wouldn’t be as hard to choke down as I had thought it would be.

When we sat down to eat, I quickly surveyed the table to make sure I had plenty of options to fill my plate, so it wouldn’t look bad when I only took a little piece of meatloaf. There was plenty to choose from with chips, watermelon and sweet corn.

From the second mom pulled the meatloaf out of the oven, I knew this was going to be different. First of all, her meatloaf wasn’t in a loaf pan, but it was in a rectangle pan covered in topping that I remembered being the only part with any flavor. It wasn’t in thick slabs, but in short slices. I ended up eating so much of it, I was miserable afterward.

I’m now a converted meatloaf fan! I had never thought of making meatloaf like that and had to try it for myself. I used an old recipe I had, and I just adjusted the amount of sauce to make sure there was plenty to cover. I hope you like it, too!

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