Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Comfort Food

I made meatloaf tonight from my mother's recipe:

Mix 2 slices crumbled bread (see note below)
½ c milk
1 pound ground beef
1 egg
¼ c chopped onion
1 t salt
½ t sage

In a shallow pan, shape into loaf.

I chopped two onions and stored the extra for when I make chili later this week. And I didn't have bread; I don't like to buy it because I rarely use more than a couple of slices before the loaf turns green. I used leftover cornbread I'd made over the weekend.

Mother's meatloaf is good--but nothing spectacular. But what I have always loved is her sauce. I was always disappointed by meatloaf in a restaurant, because it came with a tomato sauce topping or with brown gravy. Mother's sauce is more like a homemade barbeque sauce--sweet and tangy:

6 T brown sugar
½ c ketchup
½ t nutmeg
1 t dry mustard (or 1 T prepared mustard)

Cover the meatloaf with the sauce and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.


* * *

Skillet Cornbread

My mother used to make cornbread in her little cast-iron skillet. Once I got my skillet properly seasoned, I wanted cornbread. I followed the recipe on the instant cornbread, but my temperamental oven betrayed me. Not hot enough, then too hot, then not enough. When the timer dinged, it looked right and was firm on top, but it wasn't cooked all the way through, and it stuck to the skillet. (Scraping it off the skillet left some gouges in the new finish. It'll need to be seasoned again before I use it. I'm not sure skillet cornbread is worth that much effort. I can use the same recipe and make cornbread muffins.) Anyway, it tasted fine, and I wasn't worried about the undercooked part in the middle since I was planning to use some of the cornbread in the meatloaf anyway.

* * *

The other day, a friend mentioned making pumpkin mac and cheese for her family. I thought it sounded good, and I have pumpkin galore around here. All I needed to get was pasta. So I did (and got some extra cheese), got home with the pasta and suddenly realized: I didn't have anything to cook the pasta in. I have microwavable bowls, but there are no instructions on the pasta for microwaving. (It probably could be done--using the timing for, say, boil-in-bag rice--but it might not be very good.) The only cook-on-the-stovetop pots/pans I owned were an 8-inch skillet and a couple of tiny sauce pans you could heat a can of soup in.

I'd had my eye on a stockpot, so I went out Monday and bought one. It's an 6-quart size with a lid/insert to help with draining pasta. I got the brick-red colored pot. It won't match my kitchen stuff, but I'm going to go for a Crayola color scheme: gold stove and hood, cobalt tea kettle, beige crock-pot (with aqua and orange--sort of University of Miami/Miami Dolphin colors)--and now a brick-colored stockpot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love meatloaf. I use oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, and throw in a little chopped bell pepper because that's how my husband likes it. Never made my own glaze, though. I think I'll try yours next time.