Wednesday 07 Dec 2016

Meatloaf
Jennifer Flaten

How many times can you set your oven on fire? Currently, I am up to five times. Yes, I set me oven on fire, again. In all fairness, this is a new oven for me, so technically it is really my first time.

I blame it all on the meatloaf; I was trying a new recipe, which called for the meatloaf to cook on a baking sheet instead of loaf pan. Fine, except the grease escaped, hence, the small blaze.

Don’t worry, everything ended well. I saved the meatloaf and the oven. Actually, I didn’t really want to save the oven. This oven is old and I want a new oven, but alas wanting a new oven and having the funds to get a new oven, honestly, are two different things.

Even if I let it melt into a smoldering heap, I still wouldn’t get a new oven and I certainly have enough trouble cooking with a stove let alone trying to make all my meals on a grill. 

Back to my meatloaf, it turned out well, as far as meatloaves go. Let’s face it. You love meatloaf or your hate meatloaf. There isn’t much in between.

Contrary to what various internet chefs think, you can’t really do much to fancy up ground meat shaped into a loaf. No, sticking a hard-boiled egg into the middle of the meatloaf doesn’t somehow make it better, it is just makes it weird.

I enjoy looking for recipes on the internet, which proves that the internet is valuable for more things than Facebook and funny cat pictures; it provides food. I’ve managed to find some good recipes and let’s just pretend we never saw some of the bad recipes shall we.

Although finding a tasty meal for dinner is the goal, I admit I do enjoy reading the comments on the recipes. There are the usual ratings loved it, hated it, eh, and some actual helpful comments, such as noting the temperature should read 350 not 450, a big difference; then there are my favorite comments.

Those comments go like this “I made this and it was delicious. Instead of 1 cup of grapes, I used three whole turnips and I swapped the beef for salmon. Oh and I cooked in a clay tureen instead of the stovetop.” By the time, they list all their changes it’s a completely different recipe.

This is not helpful, at all. I want to know if you liked the recipe, as it is, not after your done turning it into Frankenstein or maybe Frankenstein’s dinner.

I am the kind of person that follows the recipe exactly, the first time. Oh hell, I follow it exactly the five hundredth time I make it because I hate the idea of making some sort of seasoning mistake that would make it inedible. No, you may not ask about past rather unwise seasoning decisions I’ve made. Let’s just say, some flavors simply aren’t interchangeable.

I hate throwing out food, even after the meatloaf’s unfortunate run in with the flames it still made an appearance on the table; what a trooper. It singed, only slightly. I sold it as a smoky flavour. Still, I am not surprised that the children requested sandwiches for tomorrow’s meal.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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