Updated 2011-10-08 21:21:00 ID=654:0

© 2011 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

Musings on Meatloaf, Males and Life

I just recently made another one of my meatloafs and as I was assembling all the ingredients, I started thinking about the similarities between meatloaf, males and life!

The other day I offered to make another meatloaf when my photographer-husband realized he hadn't photographed the last meatloaf, which he was suppose to do for this website, prior to eating. Meatloaf Romantic Table Style Yes! In our urgency to eat the delicious meatloaf, we totally forgot to capture its image prior to eating! --We had eaten "the props!" So since I LOVE this meatloaf recipe so much and wouldn't mind having it again myself, I set off to the grocery store to purchase the needed ingredients to make another one.

Some people turn-up their noses to meatloaf as being "low-class." Oh how contrary! Maybe the type of meatloaf that only uses ground beef and multiple loaves of bread per pound of meat with nothing else, BUT a really GOOD meatloaf is a divine dining experience, requiring sensitive cooking awareness and execution! A really good meatloaf is nothing to be snobbish about! -"It's food and flavor experience for the stomach's soul!"

©2011 The Romantic Table, Meatloaf Romantic Table Style 2011-10-05 20:08:42:308
©2011 The Romantic Table

Meatloaf Romantic Table Style is a cook-pleaser that can be made in advance, and in fact even tastes better when done ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld.
Now I've been making a version of this meatloaf for almost fifty years! Throughout those years it has morphed into its final recipe form from its former less-refined beginnings. In my restaurant-family, each person had a slightly different recipe: There was my mom's version "Pat's Meatloaf", my grandmother's meatloaf -"Dot's Meatloaf" and then there was my meatloaf- "Susie's Meatloaf." By the time I went off to college, everyone in the family had chosen my version as their favorite. So WHAT EXACTLY makes a good meatloaf? I've been doing some thinking on it and here are my observations.

I'm sure that almost every family has a version of their own meatloaf. --Even the grocery stores are selling "ready-to-eat" meatloafs --and they look atrocious!!! The "ready-to-eat" commercial ones look to me more like "heartburn in a pan" than my mellow recipe! Most meatloafs are based on using ground beef period with a few primitive spices --especially UNCOOKED RAW onions!! Oh my God! (Unless you precook the onions by sauteing with optional garlic --this also makes the onions and garlic more flavorful , you're very likely to have the meatloaf ricochet back into your chest with heartburn later that day --and I mean "heartburn city!") Ouch!

Another mistake is by using only ground beef, the meatloaf's meat gets so dense, it's very hard for the stomach to break down. Most digestive systems work better with less-dense foods. I know that normally the bread would lessen the denseness, but by simply adding another less dense meat - in addition to the soft breadcrumbs, that will help guarantee the mellowness of the meat and give it an "Ooh La-La flavor!" I like to use a little of freshly-ground lean pork sausage. (The "Food 4 Less Grocery store" has their own house-made bulk pork sausage that is very lean and you don't have to worry about a lot of grease or fat-content after baking and it sells for only a couple dollars per pound!)

Some other important components to include in a good meatloaf are Parmesan cheese, crushed sage and oregano, along with fresh Italian parsley, slightly chopped canned tomatoes, an egg or two and of course a little salt and pepper.

The aroma-experience of a good meatloaf in the oven is memorable and an experience that will take you far with your "beloveds!" Just the anticipation of this wonderful entree is worth the effort. Males especially savor good meatloafs! Ladies out there, be sure to have in your "cooking-arsenal" a wonderful meatloaf recipe to pull out when needed- this is definitely one super-manly meal! One of my grandmother's cookbooks "The Settlement Cookbook" had as it tag-line "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach!" so don't blow it with heartburn, indigestion or an argument! A good meatloaf makes the mood of the evening a little happier and more mellow. He'll be savoring that divine creation --and you too for days! --And you and the rest of your family will enjoy and crave it too!




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A tip from Sue!

Use A Pasta Pot for Pasta

If you like pasta and are planning on having it often, I recommend getting a pasta pot.

After trying different sets, the best one I’ve found was the original, least expensive one. It’s a stainless steel pot with separate built-in pasta basket. It also comes with a vegetable steamer. Something like it is available on the Internet for about $40.00. and at several local supermarkets as low as $30.00.

You don’t need to have a real heavy pan---otherwise you’re going to waste all your time heating the pan instead of getting it to boil quickly. Don't worry about hot spots since all you’re going to be doing with it is boiling water.