Friday, April 15, 2016

The Tao of Meatloaf

The universe be funny, man.

I had a crappy week, and felt really tired thinking about what I might want to write today. The only topic that qualified itself in my mind was the stupid meatloaf. But then I thought NO. That is so boring. You can't even make a funny turkey sandwich reference post about it because that shit has been done to death.

Oh, you want to hear it?
K. You were warned.

The other night I gave everyone a choice for dinner: meatballs, chicken stir fry, or pork tenderloin. Oh, or I guess I could make meatloaf, I said.

Prologue: I'd made it a few months ago on a whim when Clara wasn't home and my boys loooooved it. There was barely enough for the three of us that last time, no leftovers.

So when the majority vote fell to meatloaf on this recent night, I had myself a conundrum. I had picked up two packages of ground turkey, because I LOVE ground turkey and it was on crazy sale. I thought I should double the batch, right? But I paused, because for God's sake there are only 4 of us, one of whom has chronic stomach ailments that make meal planning uniquely challenging. I wanted the second package for tacos or pasta sauce or something. One loaf would be enough, I was making plenty of sides and it irritates the hell out of me how my family doesn't eat leftovers. But what if it was a huge hit, and we could have meatloaf sandwiches! Yu-um. Double batch, baby.

(oh my god this is so boring)

But alas...I made a fatal mistake with this loaf... I chopped rather than diced the onions. This led to an overly crumbly loaf! I am partial to the hand formed loaf on a sheet pan rather than the loaf pan, but that's probably not important. Either that or it is vitally important, but it's in the past so let's move on. It tasted delicious, but it looked like hell. There were leftovers.

Epilogue: I googled uses for leftover crumbly meatloaf, and decided to make a glorious sounding meat sauce over pasta. everyone was very polite. There are leftovers.

How does this relentless yet excruciatingly dull story about meat prove that the universe be funny? When I looked back at April blog posts for an indulgent Flashback Friday, this is what I found:



I’ve been talking about it all week. I bought the ground turkey on Sunday, and could think of nothing else at work all day on Monday. I crunched the numbers: 20 minutes to get home, at least 10 minutes of prep, 60 minutes cooking time – 90 minutes minimum was the best I could do. We have a very small window between school and karate on Mondays and Wednesdays, which must include homework, dinner, and driving time. Dinner has to be on the table by 5:15 or we’re not going to make it. It was 3pm, but I thought if I left work by 4 I could make it work. I’ve never been very good at math. We had tacos that night.

Then Tuesday night, I decided to scrap my plan to hit the gym after work and head home to loaf. But my husband successfully convinced me to meet him for dinner somewhere that was showing our alma mater play basketball (again with the basketball). The kids and I were game, but the evening turned out to be an unmitigated disaster that ended with tantrums and tears and groundings and destroyed psyches and not nearly enough mind-numbing alcohol.

On Wednesday, I was determined.

I informed my workplace that I needed a half day off to attend topersonal matters. First, I went to the gym, and turbo-kick-boxed the shit out of any lingering frustration about the previous night's dinner fiasco. Then I scoffed at the nasty gym locker room and went back home to enjoy my beautiful shower. Have I talked about how much I love my shower? It’s my happy place. After that bliss, with my remaining time off, I began to construct the loafen meat masterpiece.

Who wouldn’t feel better when smelling this?

I have to say that there was a time in my life when I mocked the likes of Jessica Seinfeld and her subversive vegetable maneuvers, but then I met this clown

who does not care for inconsistencies in her food. She prefers that all of her food be uniform in color, preferably on the beige side of the spectrum. I put those beautiful vegetables into my food processor, and they came out looking noticeably less appealing. But I must say, there are not too many things I can think of that do look appealing when loafed up with raw meat and eggs.

The meal was…. anticlimactic. I chose not to battle with the girl over the difference between a nibble and a taste. I chose to focus on the yummy sounds emanating from the menfolk.

As for me, now that my craving has been satiated; I don’t think I’ll need to make meatloaf again for a long while. But I pity the fool who gets between me and my leftover sandwich tomorrow.

In my family, we have this thing where if you find yourself in the middle of a really boring story, you say it’s a turkey sandwich. I think that with this post, I’ve renamed the phenomenon. Welcome to my meatloaf.


Me, You, or Ellie said...
Jacquie, I love this post! This story is not meatloaf to me. I completely identify.

Especially with this so perfectly expressed gem: "the evening turned out to be an unmitigated disaster that ended with tantrums and tears and groundings and destroyed psyches and not nearly enough mind-numbing alcohol."


The Blue Ridge Gal said...
Oh ya... when it comes to kids you have to play the game of "lets hide the veggies". The kids usually win.

The Blue Ridge Gal
Me, You, or Ellie said...
Extra lettuce on that meatloaf sandwich, please.....

Or, actually, more appropriately, may I have extra lettuce on that loafen meat masterpiece sandwich. Please.

Kathi D said...
I found this story distinctly Not Boring. I envy you your meatloaf, and I share your warped time sense.

When I was The Girl's age, I preferred White Food. I still enjoy a lot of White Food. Mmmmmmmmm tapioca pudding.
Sassy Molassy said...
If you divide the meatloaf in half and cook two smaller loaves on a broiler pan, it cooks in half the time and all the gross fat goes into the bottom pan. You're welcome!
Penn State Fan visiting San Diego said...
Sorry tuesday night didn't go well. I making an assumption that SDSU was playing. I was really hoping to be in San Diego yesterday and watch Penn State play SDSU but that was not to be.
Oh well, it was still fun watching Penn State beat Baylor! Beth can attest to my enthusiasm.
We Are...


Central PA meatloaf fan said...

My girl LOVES meatloaf and I rarely carve out the time to make it so thank-you for the inspiring, not boring, post. Now that I'm down to 3 people at the dinner table, I can guarantee leftovers.
*and I enjoyed the flashback to my comment made all those years ago (when Capri was still in Beth's belly and Penn State had a quality basketball team

Beth said...

You make even meatloaf interesting, Jacq!


mom said...

I haven't made meatloaf in ages, is it because I made it every single Monday night for years? Meatloaf sandwich? heaven....
love the post

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Meatloaf. Yum. I really need a meatloaf sandwich. Or a meatloaf dinner on a Monday night, accompanied by corn, and baked potatoes, that Dad "did" for us, even after we could "do"them on our own.

I love meatloaf!

I think.

I haven't had meatloaf in over a decade.

But I love *you*; that I do know.

Plus you crack me up. Like, big.